Newcastle United fresh injury blow confirmed as key player ruled out of Aston Villa opener

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Newcastle United injury latest ahead of the Premier League opener against Aston Villa at St James’ Park.

Eddie Howe has provided a mixed Newcastle United injury update ahead of this evening’s Premier League opener against Aston Villa (kick-off 5:30pm).

Fabian Schar missed the remaining three games of pre-season after withdrawing against Chelsea in the Premier League Summer Series in the United States. The Switzerland international failed a late fitness test ahead of the Sela Cup last weekend but returns right on cue.

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“As we currently stand, yes he will be [involved],” said the Magpies head coach during his pre-match press conference. “He has trained this week, he has trained well. He was back with us on Tuesday so he’s had a full week’s training.”

However, in a fresh blow to Newcastle, it’s been revealed that Joe Willock isn’t expected to return until after the September international.

The former Arsenal midfielder had been recovering from the hamstring injury sustained in United’s penultimate match of last season against Brighton and Hove Albion but has suffered a setback.

Howe added: “Joe has worked hard through the summer after a really bad hamstring injury. It was a serious injury to his hamstring where he missed the back end of last season and now in pre-season as he’s working back he’s just felt a little bit of discomfort in his hamstring, not necessarily another pull to the area but just a discomfort.

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“So we’ve just had to work him down again and he’s in the process now of building back up. We’ll probably miss him for the first group of games before the international break.”

Meanwhile, Emil Krafth is continuing his recovery from an ACL injury. The Swede is set to return to training nearly 12 months from when he picked up the injury in a Carabao Cup game away to Tranmere Rovers.

“He’s doing well,” Howe told NewcastleWorld. “As you have with serious injuries like the one he’s had, you have good days, bad days. He’s had good spells and bad spells where he hasn’t felt so good but he’s slowly coming into a really good feeling in his body where he’s worked incredibly hard.

“Emil is a fantastic character who we’ve missed greatly both as a character and as a player. He’s not training with the team yet, he’s in very early stages with the sports science team so we’re probably looking at four-to-six weeks before he’s training with the team.”

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