Newcastle United £32m duo 'close' to injury return but four players set to miss Man City & Aston Villa games

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson and winger Jacob Murphy. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP) Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson and winger Jacob Murphy. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP)
Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson and winger Jacob Murphy. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP) | AFP via Getty Images
Newcastle United could welcome back two players from injury after the Premier League winter break.

Newcastle United attacking duo Callum Wilson and Jacob Murphy are closing in on a return from their respective injuries.

Wilson has missed the last two matches away to Liverpool and Sunderland after sustaining a calf injury during the Boxing Day defeat to Nottingham Forest. Meanwhile, Murphy has been absent since November after undergoing surgery on a dislocated shoulder.

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Both players have been ruled out of Saturday's Premier League clash at home to Manchester City but could return after the winter break.

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson and winger Jacob Murphy. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP) Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson and winger Jacob Murphy. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP)
Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson and winger Jacob Murphy. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP) | AFP via Getty Images

Magpies boss Eddie Howe said: “We’re well aware of what Callum’s injury is and the timescale on it. We hope he can be back in and around the Aston Villa game, that’s what we’re looking at. If it takes a bit longer we’ll take that time but we don’t see it being a long-term issue."

On Murphy, Howe added: “He's close. Jacob has joined in training with us not on a contact basis but on a non-contact basis. He's been in and around the team which has been great. His personality is really good so he's been a big player to have back with the first team.” 

United, however, won't see Joelinton, Elliot Anderson, Joe Willock or Harvey Barnes until February.

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Howe confirmed on Friday morning that Joelinton is sidelined for a minimum of six weeks because of a quad injury. And neither Willock or Anderson can help fill the void left in midfield.

“No they’re not expected back any time soon," revealed Howe. "Elliot is continuing his rehab from a stress fracture in his back.

"It’s been a difficult injury to manage for him and he’s not been very active for a long period of time, he’s trying to let his back heal. I think he has another scan next week so hopefully that’ll give us good news and he can start to build up his work. 

“With Joe Willock, he’s improving. He’s building up strength in his Achilles and feeling better but still not running.”

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Barnes hasn't played since the 8-0 win at Sheffield United in September after suffering a setback last month. Howe says the £38million summer signing still has "long way to go".

He told NewcastleWorld: "Harvey is getting closer. He hasn't trained with the group but he's been running on the grass, had his boots back on and kicking balls around. We're pleased with his progress currently but he still has a long way to go."

Those sidelined long-term are Nick Pope, Javier Manquillo, Matt Targett and Sandro Tonali, who is suspended from football until August.

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