Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce expects summer signing Allan Saint-Maximin to miss at least three weeks due to a hamstring injury, via quotes by the Chronicle.
The French forward was forced off after 17 minutes against Tottenham Hotspur after reaggravating the blow that ruled him out of the 3-1 loss to Norwich City, but Bruce is confident that it was not a risk to start the 22-year-old in North London.
Saint-Maximin had trained with the Magpies first-team throughout the week proceeding the Spurs clash and was seen to be fit and raring to go in the eyes of his manager, who has conceded his disappointment at the injury.
Bruce is now waiting on further scans to finalise a timeframe for Saint-Maximin’s return, but a three-week absence is likely, leaving the Magpies without their £16.5million (BBC) arrival from OGC Nice for Wednesday night’s potential return of Ayoze Perez to Tyneside.
“It has been a frustrating start for him,” Bruce said. “Hopefully we get a positive scan for him and a good result.
“We look to get over it, and then the international break comes for us at a good time.
“If it’s not that serious, we are looking at three weeks, and two of that is an international break. Let’s hope for his sake and ours it is good news.”
Having the international break fall during the expected window Saint-Maximin will be absent for will surely be seen as a positive break at Newcastle, as it means the forward should only miss the Carabao Cup tie with Leicester City and the Premier League visit of Watford to St James’ Park.
Depending on his recovery, he may then be able to make his return to action away to Liverpool when Newcastle travel to Anfield on September 14, which would give fans something to look forward to, having so far not seen the most of what their summer signing has to offer.
Saint-Maximin has played just 40 minutes so far this season, and has only been able to fashion one shot on goal in that time, as well as ten passes and two successful dribbles, according to data collected by WhoScored.
In his absence, Bruce has the option of continuing with Christian Atsu on the left-hand side of midfield, after the Ghana international made his season debut in the 1-0 win over Tottenham after replacing the former OGC Nice star. While the former Chelsea man may not seem as glamorous after the Frenchman’s big-money addition, he did get the assist for Joelinton against Spurs and was handed an 8/10 by the Chronicle for his performance.
Making 3 key passes in his 73 minutes of Premier League action (per WhoScored), Atsu does look to be a decent enough replacement at least for now.
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