Rafa Benitez has confirmed that Jonjo Shelvey has an outside shot at being fit for the Premier League clash against Southampton on Saturday.
He confirmed that the player is back in training but admits there are still concerns.
Talking in his pre-match press conference he said, “We have to be careful and then decide for tomorrow if he can play.”
His quotes were posted by journalist Chris Waugh on his official Twitter page on Friday lunchtime.
Rafa: "Shelvey has been training but we have to be careful & then decide for tomorrow if he can play. Elliot & Gamez are not available. Slimani is doing better, he is improving but we have to see if he can be ready for Huddersfield. We have a strong squad fit" #nufc
— Chris Waugh (@ChrisDHWaugh) March 9, 2018
The news will come as a shock to Newcastle fans who were expecting him to miss the game after a collision with his own goalkeeper ruled him out of the game against Liverpool.
He was expected to miss the Southampton game as well, with three weeks to recover then before Newcastle’s next game, but it looks like he could be in line for an early return.
The Daily Mail had earlier reported that he was due back in training, with the injury not as serious as initially thought, and this has now been confirmed by Benitez.
Football Insider verdict:
It’s not just a case of saying that this is a crunch match for Newcastle – every game between now and the end of the season is important in the club’s battle against relegation. It looked like Shelvey would be a long-term casualty but the news that he’s back in training earlier than expected is hugely welcome for Benitez and all Newcastle fans. He might not be having the same effect in the Premier League as he did in the Championship last season, but he’s one of the few players who can unlock defences with a single pass. If he’s fit, Benitez should risk him against Southampton.
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