Steve Bruce has been dealt a huge blow at Newcastle United after Ryan Fraser suffered yet another injury amid a torrid start to life at St. James’ Park for the Scotland winger.
The ex-AFC Bournemouth maestro missed the Magpies’ 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on Boxing Day after sustaining a groin issue in the midweek Carabao Cup defeat to Championship side Brentford.
Fraser had only returned to fitness a week prior following a lengthy layoff with a hamstring injury that prevented the 26-year-old from tasting any game time for club or country since November 1st.
Bruce would have hoped to see Fraser finally establish himself in the Newcastle first-team following his return against Leeds United earlier this month, having only been able to call on the £11m-rated playmaker to start two of seven Premier League appearances following his summer arrival.
Instead, Fraser is now facing even more games on the sidelines with Bruce unsure how long the 26-year-old will be unavailable for ahead of facing champions Liverpool on Wednesday night.
“Unfortunately, he hurt his groin against Brentford,” Bruce said, via quotes by the Chronicle.
Bruce was also without Jonjo Shelvey, Paul Dummett and Jeff Hendrick against Pep Guardiola’s Man City, and is hoping to see signs of progress in his players over the coming days with Jamaal Lascelles and Allan Saint-Maximin still missing after testing positive for coronavirus.
“Shelvey had a groin injury and he is not right, he has played too many games,” Bruce added. “We will see if we can get a few back, once we do, I’m sure we will be OK.”
Bruce faces a mammoth task to take a result against Liverpool with yet more players set for spells on the sidelines, with Saturday’s defeat to Manchester City a third loss in the Toon’s last four fixtures across all competitions.
Any severity in the knock sustained by Callum Wilson that prevented the £20m striker from featuring against Manchester City will only worsen Newcastle’s injury crisis, too, with the former Cherries ace accounting for 47% of the Magpies’ 17 Premier League goals – no player has contributed a higher percentage for their side.