Despite having hopes he would be available after the international break, it is not much of a surprise that Andy Carroll will not be making his long-awaited Newcastle comeback at Liverpool on Saturday.

Steve Bruce had initially set the Anfield date as a target, but the Mail Online have reported that Carroll has not yet joined in training with the first team, thus postponing his second Toon debut.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

In all honesty, it was a long-shot that he would be ready for this game, and it would have been more of a surprise to fans had he been in the squad, than hearing he is likely to miss out.

With all the hype and focus on a return at the club he joined for £35 million eight years ago, it is probably not a bad thing that he is not involved this weekend.

(Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool was never realistic for Carroll, but Brighton could be

It will be a bigger disappointment for Bruce if he is not at least on the bench for the visit of Brighton the following week.

It would make sense for him to make his comeback in a home game, with a fervent crowd behind him, urging him on.

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

It is also a game that Bruce could be more offensive in, meaning there may be a chance to throw him on in the second half, with the game already going our way.

For now though, some Newcastle fans have taken to social media to react with mock surprise at the news of Carroll’s likely omission. Here are a few of the responses from Twitter:

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