Newcastle fans were worried that Fabian Schar may face a spell on the sidelines after he hobbled off injured at Anfield last weekend, but Steve Bruce has confirmed he is fit for the Brighton game.
But that good news is tempered slightly by confirmation that Saturday has come too soon for a return for Sean Longstaff, with him likely to be fit for the Leicester trip next week.
Sean Longstaff & Matt Ritchie not ready to return. Longstaff should be back next week, Ritchie week after.
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) September 20, 2019
Schar has become the key player for Newcastle this season – both in defence and attack it seems – and his availability is great news for Steve Bruce.
Although the Magpies are well-stocked at centre-back, it would still have been a huge blow had the Swiss international been missing on Saturday.
This could be the last chance for Jonjo Shelvey
Longstaff’s continued omission should give Jonjo Shelvey another chance to stake a claim for a run in the side, with him not having his greatest day at Liverpool last week.
It is a very big game for Newcastle, and could be even bigger for Shelvey, with him surely approaching the ‘do or die’ point in his Tyneside career.
There was also better news regarding Matt Ritchie, with him making quicker progress than expected, and although Leicester is too soon for him, the news that he is likely to be available for the Manchester United game the following week is testament to his determination.
But with players coming back, and coming into contention, the signs are much more positive at St James’ Park currently.