Eddie Howe believes Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles will be fit to face Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
The 28-year-old wasn’t named in the starting XI against Nottingham Forest last week, with Howe opting to go with Dan Burn and Fabian Schar instead. He also left Sven Botman out of the lineup.
Lascelles was initially named as one of the nine substitutes, but withdrew before kickoff. He picked up an injury in the warmup and was replaced by Paul Dummett.
Now Newcastle are set for their first away game of the season, and Howe believes he will have the option of picking his captain this time.
Howe provides fitness update on Lascelles and others
The Newcastle manager has spoke to the press ahead of this weekend’s trip to Brighton. He’s provided an update on Lascelles’ injury status, and believes he should be back in contention after missing last weekend’s win over Forest.
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“Jamaal is OK,” Howe said.
“He missed the early part of training this week but came back towards the end so we anticipate that he’ll be fit.”
Howe also confirmed that Jonjo Shelvey will miss the next 12 weeks of action with a hamstring injury. The midfielder limped off in pre-season against Benfica, and underwent surgery last week.
There’s better news regarding Jamal Lewis and Federico Fernandez. Howe has stated that the unseen duo have both done a couple of days training. Lewis has ‘looked good‘ according to Howe, while the head coach is keen to see more of ‘top player‘ Fernandez.
Emil Krafth is another player who missed last weekend’s game. Howe states that the Swede is suffering from tightness rather than an injury, and that it will hopefully be a ‘very short term‘ absence.
Lascelles will be an option on the bench
Of the players mentioned, Lascelles sounds like the only one in contention to be involved against Brighton. That will be a boost to Howe, who is a keen admirer of the centre-back’s leadership.
However, it feels incredibly unlikely that he will play against Graham Potter’s side. Schar and Burn started and excelled against Forest, while Botman came off the bench for the last minute.
The Dutchman will surely be who Howe turns to if he needs to make a change in defence. Sadly for Lascelles, he’s fourth choice now.
But his presence in the dressing room will be a boost. As Newcastle evolve, Lascelles’ role is changing. But he retains the captaincy and is still an important part of the squad.
In his absence on the pitch, Kieran Trippier will continue to don the captain’s armband.