Newcastle United winger Allan Saint-Maximin was simply exhausted and not injured as he sat out the 5-0 defeat to Manchester City, Football Insider understands.
The 23-year-old was left completely out of the matchday squad on Wednesday evening, with Valentino Lazaro coming into the starting XI at the Etihad Stadium.
A source at St James’ Park told Football Insider that Saint-Maximin is not injured but was rested after starting all of the Magpies’ matches since lockdown.
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce made a handful of enforced changes to the side which drew 2-2 against West Ham, with Isaac Hayden and Jamaal Lascelles ruled out through injury.
Miguel Almiron was also pulled out of the starting XI, although the Paraguayan was fit enough to feature among the substitutes.
It is understood that Bruce and the medical team did not want to risk Saint-Maximin, with the French winger having already missed separate periods of the season due to muscular problems.
A source told Football Insider: “A couple of the players were carrying knocks and niggles, just from the accumulation of games.
“Saint-Maximin was just sore and tight more than anything, rather than anything specific. He was just exhausted. He’s had hamstring injuries so they have to monitor him closely.”
Newcastle’s next game comes less than three days after their defeat at Manchester City, with their visit to Watford an early kick-off on Saturday.
Saint-Maximin has played 26 times across all competitions since signing for Newcastle last summer, with four goals and seven assists under his belt.
The versatile winger scored the Magpies’ first goal since returning from lockdown, while he contributed a hat-trick of assists against Bournemouth.
In other Newcastle United news, Paul Robinson is certain one player will quit St James’ Park if the proposed takeover collapses.
PLUS: Subscribe for free to our brilliant new YouTube channel for daily videos, interviews with our top pundits and special guests, and all the latest insight into the club you love.