Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce has this weekend provided fitness updates on a host of members of his squad.
The Magpies are of course currently gearing up for the new Premier League season.
As such, ahead of the campaign’s commencement next weekend, Bruce’s men took to the pitch yesterday afternoon, for their final pre-season friendly outing.
Newcastle welcomed Championship outfit Stoke City to St. James’ Park, hoping to bounce back from a concerning 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Middlesbrough in the club’s prior fixture.
When all was said and done, however, the Geordie club’s poor form continued.
A solitary finish from Stoke’s Sam Clucas inside the opening 20 minutes eventually proved the difference between the sides.
18′ Goal. Stoke take the lead.
A deep cross from Smith is headed into the net by Clucas.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) September 5, 2020
Newcastle’s latest defeat, however, is far from the only concern for Steve Bruce and co. ahead of the Premier League’s fast-approaching restart.
Speaking on the back of his side’s outing on Saturday, the Magpies boss was asked for a fitness update on his squad.
And Bruce went on to reveal that, though the players on show at St. James’ managed to make it through unscathed, a number of others are majorly struggling ahead of the club’s season opener versus West Ham:
‘The good part today is that we’ve picked up no injuries. We’ve had a very difficult couple of weeks in terms of people who we thought were going to be OK after lockdown – Paul Dummett and Ciaran Clark – certainly haven’t recovered.’
‘Unfortunately, Dwight Gayle got injured against Crewe some 10 days ago and has an operation today which will rule him out for at least three or four months. That’s been a bit of a disappointment.’
‘Dwight is the immediate one. We know Fab Schar dislocated his shoulder. This only happened three or four weeks ago so he ain’t ready. Unfortunately, Ciaran Clark and Dummy, they ain’t ready. Matt Ritchie picked up an injury two days ago.’