Inside Newcastle United's injury crisis as 11 set to miss Chelsea clash

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The possible return dates and injury updates as Newcastle United prepare to host Chelsea after the international break.

You could forgive Eddie Howe for thinking the football gods are conspiring against him as Newcastle United's injury crisis deepened over the fortnight.

The Magpies were on a high after they claimed a Carabao Cup win against Manchester United and took all three points in heated clash with Premier League rivals Arsenal during a memorable 90 minutes at St James Park on Saturday.

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Tuesday night's Champions League defeat against Borussia Dortmund may well have left the Magpies' hopes of progressing into the knockout stages hanging by a thread and Saturday's defeat at Bournemouth was another blow for Howe - but there should be some leeway given to the United boss as he continues to contend with a lengthy list of absentees.

With some breathing space afforded by the international break, NewcastleWorld takes a look at the possible return dates of several players as thoughts turn towards the home game with Chelsea on Saturday week.

Miguel Almiron - Thigh

The winger suffered a thigh injury during the first-half of Saturday's defeat at Bournemouth and has since withdrawn from international duty with Paraguay. A statement released by the Paraguayan FA confirmed Almiron had suffered a grade 1 muscle injury but there are high hopes he could return in time to face Chelsea.

Expected return date: 25th November

Jacob Murphy - Shoulder

The reliable winger suffered a shoulder injury in United's 1-0 home defeat against Borussia Dortmund last month but made an earlier than expected return in Saturday's win against Arsenal. However, Murphy's comeback was limited to a 16-minute appearance as his shoulder popped out again and that has left him needed surgery.

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Speaking after the win against the Gunners, Magpies boss Howe said: "We were full in the knowledge that, potentially, he could do it again. When you have a dislocation, there’s a chance that you can dislocate again. It looks like he has, so he will definitely now need that operation.

"But there was also a chance that he could get through it and continue to be fit and play for us. It’s obviously a huge blow.  Off the top of my head, I’m not completely sure how long he will be out for, but it’ll probably be around three months, I would think."

Expected return date: February 2024

Dan Burn - Lower Back

There was a double blow for Howe during that memorable win against Mikel Arteta's men as Dan Burn suffered a severe injury to his lower back that means the Blyth-born defender will now be out of action until the new year.

"Unfortunately, Dan will be out for some time," explained Howe.

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"It could be a couple of months; that is sort of a speculative answer. I think he has got a problem with the base of his spine. It is a big blow for us."

Expected return date: January 2024

Harvey Barnes - Foot

Summer signing Barnes has made just seven appearances since joining the Magpies ahead of the new season - and his introduction to life on Tyneside has been hampered by a foot injury suffered in the 8-0 hammering of Sheffield United in September.

Wage according to FM24 = £120,000 p/wWage according to FM24 = £120,000 p/w
Wage according to FM24 = £120,000 p/w | Getty Images

Speaking at the time, Howe ruled the winger out of action until the new year, saying: "We think he's going to be out for around three months. No surgery required, which is good news, but his foot is now in a boot. It's an injury underneath his toe. He's now started his recovery, and he's got to rest."

However, it now seems likely Barnes will make an earlier than expected return to contention after making promising progress in his recovery.

Expected return date: December

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Elliot Anderson - Stress fracture

The Magpies academy product could return before the turn of the year after suffering a back issue in the aftermath of United's win against Crystal Palace. Anderson has undergone a scan and will hope to return before the new year.

Speaking ahead of the recent trip to Wolves, Howe expressed his sympathy for the talented midfielder, saying: "Elliot’s hugely frustrated, and we’re hugely frustrated too because it was a big moment for him in his career. This was sort of his breakthrough season, in a sense, to try to get more starts, and he was doing that. He was well on his way to establishing himself as a really important first-team player."

Expected return date: Late December

Sven Botman - Knee

Newcastle United defender Sven Botman. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)Newcastle United defender Sven Botman. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
Newcastle United defender Sven Botman. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images) | Getty Images

The classy Dutch defender is working his way back from a knee injury but seems unlikely to return until next month. Howe was asked about the centre-back's return ahead of the recent draw at Wolves but could only reveal his recovery was being taken 'day-by-day'.

He said: “Botman is unclear at the moment. So we are going day by day with that one.  There’s an issue there and we are working through it. We have various options to try to diagnosis the injury."

Expected return date: December

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Alexander Isak - Groin

Swedish striker Isak limped out of the defeat against former club Borussia Dortmund last month and is not expected to make a full recovery until after the upcoming international break.

Speaking after that loss, Howe said: “It looks like a reoccurrence of his groin problem. It doesn’t look serious but it’s enough to keep him out and that’s a big blow with a player of his quality."

Expected return date: Late November

Callum Wilson - Hamstring

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United's striker shortage received a further blow on Tuesday night when a hamstring issue forced Wilson out of their defeat at Borussia Dortmund.

Wilson has now pulled out of the England squad that will face North Macedonia and Malta in their final Euro 2024 qualifiers over the next week and is believed to be targeting the home game with Manchester United on the first Saturday of December as a possible return date.

Expected return date: Early December

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Javier Manquillo - Groin

The Spanish defender has not made a first-team appearance so far this season as his matchday involvement has been limited to unused substitute roles in the Carabao Cup win over Manchester City and the Premier League draw at West Ham United.

Expected return date: Unknown

Matt Targett - Thigh

Wage according to FM24 = £80,000 p/wWage according to FM24 = £80,000 p/w
Wage according to FM24 = £80,000 p/w | Getty Images

United's defensive injury crisis continued when left-back Targett in the first five minutes of last week's Carabao Cup win at Manchester United. The former Aston Villa man has now undergone surgery and will be out of action until the new year.

Targett took to Instgram to give an update on his injury, confirming he had undergone surgery earlier this week and expressing his determination to return 'better than ever'.

He posted: "Still finding it hard to get my head around the injury… felt so good going into the United game!! Completely bizarre injury to happen in a couple minutes of the game! Surgery went well yesterday so I’m on the mend. Determined to come back better then ever"

Expected return date: Unknown

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Lewis Hall - Unavailable

The versatile defender is unable to appear against parent club Chelsea due to Premier League regulations surrounding loan players.

Expected return date: 28th November

Sandro Tonali - Suspended

Tonali is currently serving a ten-month suspension after breaching betting regulations in Italy during his time with former club AC Milan.

Expected return date: August 2024

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