Eddie Howe believes that Newcastle United striker Alexander Isak will be available to return from injury after the World Cup break.
The Magpies splashed out £59million to sign the 23-year-old from Real Sociedad this summer, but haven’t seen much of the big money addition.
Isak has only made three appearances for his new club, scoring twice. He netted on his debut against Liverpool, then scored an equaliser from the spot in a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth.
However, that was the last time Isak played for Newcastle. He picked up an injury during the international break with Sweden, and has since been on the sidelines.
While there was initial hope that he would only be out for a few weeks, it has now been confirmed that Isak is a long-term absentee.
The initial diagnosis was that the forward wouldn’t play before the World Cup, and now Howe has provided a more definitive timeframe for his return.
Howe on how long Isak will be out for
Ahead of Newcastle’s game against Aston Villa, Howe spoke to the press. He commented on Isak’s injury and confirmed how long he will be out of action for.
Alex (Isak) has been having a couple of injections into his thigh,” Howe said.
“I believe that’s gone well and the medical team are happy with where he currently stands but it is a longer term injury, around five to six weeks, so he won’t be back before the World Cup break but we’re hopeful that as we begin our second pre-season, he’s there ready to train.”
Isak to provide a post-World Cup boost
While it’s disappointing to know that Isak definitely won’t play before the World Cup, it sounds like he will be ready to go when football resumes in late December.
The Magpies’ first scheduled game after the tournament in Qatar is on Boxing Day, when Howe’s side take on Leicester away from home. If Isak can be fit and ready to feature in that game, it will be a real boost for Newcastle.
Isak’s return to fitness could be even more of a boost if Callum Wilson goes to the World Cup. The 30-year-old is hoping to be included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
If that is the case, it would be ideal to have a fit and fresh Isak ready to take the number nine’s place, who might benefit from a post-tournament rest.
Newcastle are doing very well this season, and the exciting thing is that we can get even better. We’ve barely seen what Isak is capable of in a Toon shirt, and hopefully he is ready to show us just that as soon as domestic football returns.