Steve Bruce has confirmed that Federico Fernandez won’t feature on Sunday against Manchester United.
The defender hasn’t played since Newcastle’s embarrassing defeat to Sheffield United.
Fernandez conceded the penalty that cost us that night at Bramall Lane, but he has certainly been missed during his absence.
According to Bruce, we could see Fernandez against Wolves next week, but the game at Old Trafford comes too early.
“Fernández trained yesterday and the day before for the first time in a month,” he told the club’s official website.
“Unfortunately, Man United will be too soon for him but we’re hoping he will be ready for Wolves.”
It’ll be great to get Fernandez back, but Bruce’s comments have left me somewhat confused.
What happened to Fernandez being ‘touch and go’?
Ahead of our last game against Chelsea, Bruce told the press that there was a chance Fernandez could return at Stamford Bridge.
“We’re hoping, fingers crossed, with Jamaal and Fede,” he said, before adding that both players were ‘touch and go’.
In the end, Fernandez didn’t make it, but Jamaal Lascelles did.
But this is where the confusion lies. If he’s only just returned to training this week, how can he have been ‘touch and go’ for the game on Monday night?
Was Bruce really going to throw Fernandez straight back into the team without featuring in training?
Or was he telling a little white lie to ensure Thomas Tuchel didn’t know what team he was going to pick?
We’ve seen it before where players have returned too soon after injury, so who knows what was going on with Fernandez.
However, I doubt the new Chelsea boss was going to be influenced by who Newcastle played at the back.
In the end it didn’t matter, as we were woeful at Stamford Bridge.
Fernandez’s lack of fitness means it will likely be Ciaran Clark and Lascelles at centre back on Sunday.
As for Fernandez, hopefully Bruce is true to his word this time, and we possibly see him return to the side next week against Wolves. We’ve certainly missed him.