Eddie Howe gave his press conference ahead of Monday’s game against Manchester United. He provided a timeline for Federico Fernandez and Jamal Lewis’ injuries.
Fernandez suffered a thigh injury in training shortly after the Leicester City game. The initial diagnosis was that he would miss the holiday season but could be back in early January.
However, it looks like the Argentine will be out for a bit longer than initially thought. Howe now expects Fernandez to miss most of January, which includes three massive games and our FA Cup draw against Cambridge.
Here’s Howe’s update on Fernandez per Newcastle’s Twitter account:
“It’s hard to establish a timescale, but it’s weeks rather than months. We will wait to see how he reacts.
“He’s definitely going to be outside of Christmas time and most of January, but he’s working hard and getting better every day.”
It’s a disappointing development for the central defender. Howe has only three left, with Paul Dummett only resuming training this week. We’ll likely see Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar as a pair of center-backs for Monday.
The news is a bit more optimistic regarding Lewis. The left-back suffered a hamstring injury against Liverpool. It was initially thought to be a serious issue that could sideline him for quite a while.
However, Howe revealed that Lewis’ timescale is expected to see him back by mid-January. Here’s Howe’s update on the 23-year-old:
“I don’t think it will take too long. It’s not a serious injury but it’s enough to keep him away from the holiday season and some games in early January.
“Hamstring strains usually last a minimum of 3-4 weeks and I think that’s probably where it will be.”
Howe also revealed that Newcastle is currently in the clear when it comes to Covid testing. That’s excellent news. While Javier Manquillo and Emil Krafth have battled illnesses recently, they were spotted in training footage on Wednesday.