Steve Bruce has confirmed that Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson will face six to eight weeks on the sidelines with a “devastating” hamstring injury.
Wilson could miss up to seven Premier League fixtures as a result of the issue, starting with Monday night’s trip to Chelsea and subsequent meetings with Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and potential relegation rivals Wolves, West Brom and Brighton.
Wilson sustained a deep hamstring tear during last weekend’s 3-2 win over Southampton, that also saw United lose Javier Manquillo for multiple weeks and Fabian Schar for several months.
Manquillo is now expected to miss around six weeks with a muscular injury, while Bruce has confirmed that Schar underwent surgery on Tuesday after sustaining knee ligament damage that the defender will hope does not rule him out of this summer’s Euros.
As for Wilson, the striker underwent scans to assess his hamstring injury earlier this week after being forced to limp off the field during the first-half of last week’s win over the Saints, which returned sombre news for Bruce.
“Unfortunately for Callum, it is a tear to the hamstring and that could be six to eight weeks,” the Toon boss said. “The aftermath of a fantastic victory has blighted us. Losing the centre-froward for weeks is a bitter pill to swallow.
“We hoped it was a grade on two to three weeks, but it is worse than that. We have to be without him for six-eight weeks, but we won’t put a time scale on it. It is devastating news for us. It takes time, when you are pace and power as Callum is. His rehab will have to be spot on. We need him back as quick as we can.
“His performance at Everton [last month] was terrific. We are all struggling with muscle injuries, the sheer number of games and no rest between. Without Callum, it will be hard core. He has been terrific. It will be difficult to replace him.”
The scale of the task now facing Bruce is colossus, with Newcastle left with a mammoth obstacle in their way toward securing Premier League survival for another season.
No Magpies player has been as involved in United’s attacks this term than Wilson, who has offered 2.0 shots a game over his 21 top-flight appearances, in a side that has only offered on average 9.7 each league fixture played to date, per WhoScored.
His efforts have also returned the most goals (10), while Miguel Almiron’s brace against Southampton was enough to move the Paraguayan second on the scoring chart at St. James’ Park with four – only Jeff Hendrick, who’ll be suspended against Chelsea, has also scored twice or more.
Jonjo Shelvey, who boasts one goal to his name, has taken the second-most shots per game with 1.6 but only 0.5 of those have come inside the box, where Wilson is the only player to have offered over 1.0 among those who have featured more than once for Bruce thus far.
Joelinton, who has also only scored once, has taken 1.2 shots a game over his 17 outings, while fellow strikers Andy Carroll (1.1) and Dwight Gayle (0.7) will hope to improve their output in Wilson’s absence.