Newcastle medics fear that the after-effects of Covid-19 have hampered Federico Fernandez’s recovery from injury.
That’s according to The Athletic’s Chris Waugh, who offered an update on the Argentine on Tuesday afternoon.
Fernandez was a regular for Newcastle during the first half of the season, his only absence down to a positive coronavirus test back in December.
He then strained his thigh muscle, keeping him out from the middle of January until the beginning of March.
Fernandez setback gives Bruce headache
The 32-year-old returned to the bench for the goalless draw at West Bromwich Albion and remained among the substitutes for the Aston Villa and Brighton matches.
But there was no sign of him in the matchday squad last Sunday as Newcastle faced Spurs. He’s clearly struggling to build-up to full match fitness.
His return can’t come soon enough for the Magpies. Steve Bruce was forced to select Emil Krafth and Paul Dummett, two full-backs by trade, either side of Jamaal Lascelles in a back three at the weekend.
Transfer Tavern verdict
If Newcastle feel they can’t rely on Fernandez, it raises real doubts about his future. His contract is up in the summer, and at 32 a renewal seems unlikely if these problems persist.
It’s clear that we don’t yet fully understand the toll the pandemic is taking on certain players, and fans will be hoping the former Swansea man is back at full fitness as soon as possible.
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