Eddie Howe is sure Alexander Isak will have recovered from a head injury in time for Newcastle United’s game against Bournemouth this weekend.
The 23-year-old missed the Magpies’ 1-1 draw with West Ham on Saturday night after suffering a concussion in the win over Southampton.
Isak was forced off with a head injury during the Carabao Cup semi final, after blocking a James Ward-Prowse free-kick late in the second half.
While the forward had claimed that he was fine in the aftermath of the incident, the fact he was not seen in training later in the week suggested that he could be set to miss out.
When team news dropped at 4.30pm on Saturday, those fears were proven correct with Isak nowhere to be seen.
Newcastle struggled without him, and really would have benefitted from his presence had he been available.
Next up for the Magpies is Bournemouth away, and Howe has provided a promising update on the Sweden international’s fitness.
Eddie Howe’s injury update regarding Alexander Isak
After the 1-1 draw with West Ham, Howe spoke to the Northern Echo and was asked about Isak’s situation.
“Unfortunately, we had to follow concussion protocols with him [Isak], so immediately after the (Southampton) game we knew we would be without him today,” Howe said.
“It was a big blow for us because he’s looked so good when he’s come onto the pitch in recent weeks. He feels good, he feels fine, and I don’t think there’s any issues with him.
“I’m sure he’ll be fine for next weekend.”
Newcastle follow concussion protocol with Isak
Once Isak had shown signs of a concussion last week, there was no chance that he could feature against West Ham. The FA’s guidelines for concussion state that a player cannot return until at least six days after the incident.
That is why Howe knew straight away that he would be without Isak on Saturday night, although he did not confirm his absence in his pre-match press conference.
Hopefully the £63million man is rested and ready to go again this weekend, when the Magpies head to the south coast to take on the Cherries.
Isak scored his second Toon goal against Bournemouth earlier in the season, and will hope to add another to his tally.
He has looked really bright since returning from a thigh injury, and it was a real shame to see him miss the clash with West Ham.
But concussions have to be taken seriously, and the guidelines must be followed exactly. Today (Monday) is the first day in which he can return to a competitive game, meaning that he should almost certainly be fine for our next game.