Steve Bruce will be desperate for good news as Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson ramps up his return from a hamstring injury.
That’s according to Chronicle Live, who note that the forward has been able to do some light jogging sessions in a bid to get back as soon as possible.
The Magpies are yet to win a Premier League game without Wilson leading the line since his £20m arrival from AFC Bournemouth last summer, and have seen their lead over the clubs in the relegation zone be completely eliminated in recent weeks.
Newcastle held a 10-point advantage over Fulham when Wilson suffered a deep hamstring tear at home to Southampton last month, but now sit just a point above Scott Parker’s 18th-placed Cottagers – albeit with a game in hand over the west London side.
Wilson has been doing triple sessions in a bid to return as soon as possible after vowing to do ‘everything’ in his power to help the Toon avoid the drop, having been ruled out for six to eight weeks in a “devastating” blow for Bruce.
The £46,000-per-week frontman has also been working with Jonny King, a friend and physio from his time at Bournemouth, who helped Wilson during his recovery from minor knee surgery last year and a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in 2017.
Newcastle are conscious of not rushing the striker back too quickly and aggravating his issue given the nature of the injury and his explosive pace, but will hope to see Wilson return and add to his goals, with the Magpies having scored just twice in the four matches that the forward has sat out to date.
United were particularly toothless in attack last time out against West Brom, with Bruce’s side unable to beat Sam Johnstone despite five of his side’s nine shots being on target.
Bruce will surely be desperate for more good news on Wilson’s road to recovery as Newcastle near Aston Villa’s visit to St. James’ Park. As, while the summer signing will not be expected to feature on Friday, the upcoming international break will certainly prove useful in aiding his return.
United only play Villa and have a trip to fellow strugglers Brighton and Hove Albion before a short break in fixtures, after which Wilson will have reached the eight-week period that he was initially ruled out for.
That mark also comes with a home clash with Tottenham Hotspur in a tough run for the Toon with further games against relegation-rivals Burnley and European hopefuls West Ham, Liverpool, Arsenal, Leicester and title-elect Manchester City.
Newcastle will not be expected to take many points from that run without their 10-goal top-scorer on the pitch, with Wilson’s haul helping to beat the Irons, Burnley and Everton (twice) already this season while helping claim draws with Spurs and Fulham.
Dwight Gayle and Joelinton are each yet to score while carrying the strain in Wilson’s recent absence, too, making a quick but safe return for Wilson increasingly important for Bruce. If he can get his main man back after the international break, that could be huge for the Newcastle boss and his club’s hopes of staying in the top flight.