Allan Saint-Maximin issues significant Newcastle United injury update ahead of Brighton clash
and live on Freeview channel 276
Eddie Howe’s side have found a way to cope in the Frenchman’s absence - drawing with West Ham United and beating Brentford to extend their unbeaten to seven matches.
While the Magpies travelled for back-to-back games in London, Saint-Maximin returned to France, where Eddie Howe said the player was undergoing “intensive, specialised treatment” on a calf injury.
The 24-year-old has now taken to Instagram to confirm he’s back - though it remains to be seen if he will play a part in this weekend’s Premier League clash with Brighton at St James’ Park.
While Howe is keen to see Saint-Maximin back in action, United’s head coach warned there are no guarantees he will walk straight back into the starting XI on the back of two positive results.
“He is a massive player for us and we are aware we need him back for the next game,” Howe said following the win at the Brentford Community Stadium.
“It is great to see the team able to cope. We are missing some really outstanding individuals but the team is strong enough to get results in their absence.
“That is a good sign for the future.
“I will take selection dilemmas and tough calls over not having enough strength.
“So Allan coming back in, potentially, would be positive for the team, as would any of the players, if we can get them back.
“The squad is in a good place, feeling confident, the environment is strong but we are going into an intense period of games and we will need the whole squad to pay their part.”
Will Allan Saint-Maximin start against Brighton?
Given that Howe’s side have played well without their talisman, you’d have to say no.
Jacob Murphy has stepped up in Saint-Maximin’s absence but it’s the form of Ryan Fraser that adds the most intrigue.
Fraser played on the left-wing - Saint-Maximin’s usual position - at Brentford on Saturday and was near enough unplayable.
The Scotland international, by his own admission, said the left side was his favourite position.
There is no doubting how important the Frenchman is to Howe’s starting XI - but does he warrant going straight back in?
Just as £40million January signing Bruno Guimaraes has found out, Howe is reluctant to change a winning team.
Perhaps Saint-Maximin would benefit from an appearance off the bench to help ease his way back following two weeks of specialised treatment.