'Not eligible' - Newcastle United star ruled out of two more matches

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Newcastle United hope to have Alexander Isak fit and available to face Chelsea after the international break.

Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak won’t be called up by Sweden during the upcoming international break, manager Janne Andersson has confirmed. 

The 23-year-old first picked up a groin injury after scoring a brace in the Magpies’ 2-2 draw at West Ham United in October. It forced Isak to withdraw from the last Swedish camp, although he swiftly recovered in time to start against former club Borussia Dortmund. 

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However, less than a quarter of an hour into the 1-0 defeat at St James’ Park, Isak suffered the same issue.

 Alexander Isak of Newcastle United is embraced by manager Eddie Howe following his substitution during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St. James Park on August 12, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) Alexander Isak of Newcastle United is embraced by manager Eddie Howe following his substitution during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St. James Park on August 12, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Alexander Isak of Newcastle United is embraced by manager Eddie Howe following his substitution during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St. James Park on August 12, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images

He has since missed matches against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester United, Arsenal and Dortmund, and won’t feature in Saturday’s long Premier League trip to Bournemouth

Isak, who has scored eight goals in all competitions this term, will also sit out of Sweden’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Estonia. 

Newcastle hope the two-week break will give Isak further time to recover so he can be available for the visit of Chelsea in the first game back. 

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It is Andersson’s understanding that the striker’s recovery is going well. 

He said: “The rehab is going well, he says, so it’s good, and hopefully it won’t take that long, but he was not eligible to be here.”

In better news, Emil Krafth has been handed a recall following 14 months out with an ACL injury. The versatile defender made an impressive return to the starting XI last week as the Magpies beat Manchester United 3-0 in what was only the second win at Old Trafford since 1972. 

“It’s great fun. It’s been a long rehab for him, and now he’s been in full training for quite some time, so he’s in good shape,” said Andersson. “He had a great game last week at centre-back.”

Sweden’s next two games mark the end of Andersson’s seven-year reign as national team manager after their failure to qualify for next summer’s Euros. 

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