Alexander Isak “does not have a return date” from injury and Newcastle United’s club-record signing may not feature at all during the festive schedule despite “making good progress”, according to Eddie Howe.
The 23-year-old has not featured for Newcastle since September 17, having sustained a thigh injury while on international duty for Sweden later that month. Isak was due to play again in October but broke down, suffering a recurrence of the same problem.
Howe, Newcastle’s head coach, was cagey when asked about Isak and also about Callum Wilson, who returned from England duty this week but did not feature during the 2-1 friendly win over Rayo Vallecano at St James’ Park on Saturday.
“With Alex, there was no fixed return date on him,” Howe said.
“The medical team have tried to just look at his recovery day by day and just get him in the best physical shape he can be in the ideal time. Now, we hoped to have him fit and available for the Bournemouth game, but I think that is looking unlikely. So then we’ll just have to take it on a game-by-game basis.”
Pushed as to whether Isak is in fact out until the turn of the year, Howe replied: “Erm… that could happen. Again it’s a difficult one. We haven’t got a return date on him. He’s with the medical team at the moment and working hard, making good progress, but I can’t give you a return date.”
Chris Wood started up front against Vallecano and scored from the penalty spot. The New Zealand international appears to be in line to start Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup fourth-round tie with Bournemouth as well, given the uncertainty over Wilson’s fitness.”
We’ve only seen Callum briefly. But I don’t want to give too much away to be honest,” Howe said of Wilson, who suffered a very minor calf injury on England duty. “No (he isn’t injured), Callum’s come back OK. But with different training loads, I don’t want to get too technical, but we’ve just had to tread carefully with one or two players.”
Shearer on Isak: The pace, the playing style and embracing that record fee
(Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images)