Newcastle United issue 16-word Sven Botman update after FA Cup absence

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Sven Botman missed Newcastle United's FA Cup fifth round win against Blackburn Rovers.

Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe confirmed Sven Botman was rested for Tuesday night's FA Cup fifth round win over Blackburn Rovers.

Having started the previous 10 matches after returning from a three-month layoff with a knee injury, the Dutchman was left out of the squad altogether for the visit to Ewood Park, which saw captain Jamaal Lascelles partner Fabian Schar at centre-half.

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With Howe stating 24 hours earlier that Botman needed time to get back to his peak levels, it was feared his absence might have been something more sinister but the United head coach said after the 4-3 penalty shootout win that it was nothing more than handing the 24-year-old a breather.

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Asked about Botman, Howe replied: "Yeah just rested today. We feel Sven will benefit more from training than being involved today."

While Botman is expected to be available for Saturday's Premier League clash at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers, it is unclear if he will earn an immediate recall to the starting XI.

Howe was forced to defend Botman after he was criticised for his performance during Saturday night's 4-1 defeat at Arsenal.

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Botman's own goal opened the scoring at the Emirates before a misplaced pass led to the Gunners making it 3-0. Magpies legend Alan Shearer described it as his worst performance in a Newcastle shirt.

Howe said on Monday: “Sven had a very serious knee and he’s come back to fitness. I think he’s improved with each game but I think he is still working his way back to his very best levels.

"With his knee injury, it’s something we’re monitoring and we hope that he continues to not feel his knee and his knee is able to adapt to Premier League football. Certainly, as I say, it was a very significant injury. 

"To play Premier League football you have to be in peak condition, you can’t get away with playing the game if you’re not. He’s fit to play, he’s done the work but as I said, it was a significant injury. Hopefully within a few more weeks he’ll be back to his very best levels."

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