Four Newcastle United players ruled out of Leeds United clash - with another ‘touch and go’

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Early Newcastle United team news ahead of this afternoon’s Premier League clash against Leeds United.

Newcastle United will be without at least four senior players for this afternoon’s Premier League encounter against Leeds United (kick-off 3pm).

Jonjo Shelvey is the latest player on the sidelines after feeling some discomfort in his calf during the friendly win over Rayo Vallecano a fortnight ago.

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The central midfielder was a late substitute against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup just days later before being told the issue will need six to eight weeks to heal.

Head coach Eddie Howe said: “Jonjo is a passionate guy. He lives for football, he lives for that feeling of playing and showing his skills on a weekly basis - that’s a big driver in his life and he’s not able to do that physically at the moment.

Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“That’s a big thing, taking that away from him. Initially, there is huge disappointment from him and we’re currently supporting him. I saw him yesterday and had a good chat with him. He’s a lot more positive about the future and focusing on his rehab.

“Although the time period is lengthy, it’s not a long-term injury, he can very quickly get into his rehab and start running quickly. There is a lot to be positive about.”

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Shelvey joins club-record signing Alexander Isak in the treatment room as he continues his recovery from a thigh problem that has kept him out since September.

Howe remains hopeful of having the Sweden international back at his disposal next month but admits he won’t be rushed having re-injured the issue in October.

“Whenever he is fit and available, he will certainly come into my thinking,” Howe said. “A bit of a cliche but he would be like a new signing because we haven’t had him for a long period of time.

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“Whenever he is fit and available, he will come into our plans straight away but we need to make sure he is fit before exposing him to the pitch.

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“I’ve had conversations with him to find out how he is feeling and to try and help him. Naturally, he’s been disappointed as he’s desperate to play and prove how good he is.

“It’s more a case of keeping him calm and trying to make sure he realises he’s got a long future ahead of him here. We just want him to be right when he enters the pitch.”

Also out are Paul Dummett (back) and Emil Krafth.

Howe remains tight-lipped over Callum Wilson’s potential involvement but the England striker is likely to return to the matchday squad after missing the Boxing Day trip to Leicester City through illness.

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