Newcastle United defender Fabian Schar missed the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday, but is expected to return this weekend.
Schar was nowhere to be seen when the Newcastle team was announced at 11.30am, with Jamaal Lascelles taking his place at centre-back against Manchester City.
It was a surprise to see the captain start, but it wasn’t a real shock that Schar was missing. The 31-year-old had not been pictured in training ahead of the game after suffering a head injury during the Carabao Cup final.
The Switzerland international was down for a long period of time in the first half at Wembley, but was able to carry on despite boasting a nasty red mark next to his eye.
It has since been stated that Schar suffered a concussion in the defeat to Manchester United, which is why he was unavailable for the trip to the Etihad. Concussion protocol states that a player cannot return until at least six full days after the incident.
The timings of the cup final and Saturday’s early kickoff meant that Schar missed out, but the Athletic’s Chris Waugh has provided a positive update on his fitness ahead this weekend’s game.
Fabian Schar should be fit to return for Newcastle against Wolves
The Athletic’s Chris Waugh addressed Schar’s situation on the latest episode of Pod On The Tyne.
“I wasn’t surprised that he missed the game this weekend,” Waugh said.
“But I was surprised that he came back on the pitch at Wembley then continued for the whole game when he looked to be in tears, Botman had to comfort him…all rather puzzling.
“Newcastle kept describing it as a very mild concussion. They said he’s following concussion protocols to the letter. The suggestion is that they think he will be alright by next weekend.”
Argument could be made that Schar should not start on Sunday
While Schar has been excellent this season, you could argue that he should not automatically walk straight back into the starting XI.
Lascelles took his place against Manchester City and played very well, keeping Erling Haaland at bay. Whether his performance is enough for Eddie Howe to keep him in the side remains to be seen.
Tactically, it might make more sense to recall Schar. We will likely see a lot of the ball against Wolves, which means we could do with the £3million centre-back’s passing ability from defence. He is capable of breaking the lines from deep positions, unlike Lascelles.
The good news is that he should be fit to return to the squad this weekend. However, it is somewhat concerning that he was able to play on during the Carabao Cup final.