'We can't' - Joelinton injury update as Newcastle United star facing four months out

Newcastle United star Joelinton is edging closer to a return from injury.

Eddie Howe says he won’t rush Joelinton back from injury as Newcastle United go in search of European qualification.

Joelinton - who this week signed a new long-term contract with the Magpies - has been sidelined since the 3-0 Tyne-Wear derby victory at Sunderland on January 6 because of a thigh issue, which required surgery.

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The Brazilian was back at United’s training ground this week taking part in some individual work on the grass alongside Miguel Almiron. There have been suggestions he could return at the start of May but Howe is edging on the side of caution.

Newcastle United midfielder Joelinton. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)Newcastle United midfielder Joelinton. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Joelinton. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Asked if Joelinton will play again this campaign, Howe replied: “I think Joe will tell you yes but we need to make sure he is ready to play, we can’t rush the process. He has to be feeling good and we have to minimise risk.

“Undoubtedly yeah [we’ve missed him]. I think he’s got that presence as well, he’s a big guy, not only in personality but stature. I think we’ve missed his duel winning ability, his coverage in midfield and versatility as well.

“That can’t be underestimated when you have injuries like we have, it’s important we have players who can play dual roles. We need him back as quickly as possible.”

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Newcastle’s 4-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday afternoon saw them move up to sixth in the Premier League table ahead of the final six games. But Howe’s squad remains low of numbers with their 11 injuries currently the most in the top-flight.

Indeed, the return of Joelinton would be a huge boost to the club’s European qualification hopes, and the player himself teased last week he’d be back “very soon”.

Joelinton said: “It’s been very difficult, It has been a difficult season for me, it’s been stop-start because of injuries and then the big injury. It has been the first time I have been out for so long.

“I’m not going to lie, it has been very frustrating for me, a difficult challenge but I’m working hard to come back fit and stronger, and try to avoid more injuries.

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“The recovery has been good and there have been a lot of positive things. I’m on the pitch already running and passing the ball. There are still a few weeks to go but I am positive I will be back very soon.”

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