Steve Bruce will be desperate for good news from Newcastle United’s medical team after Fabian Schar suggested that he may not return from injury this season.
The Swiss centre-back has been discussing his recovery on the Magpies’ Zoom Army feature and stated that he “will do everything” he can to try and help the St James’ Park outfit to avoid relegation to the Championship.
Newcastle are yet to win a game since losing Schar in the 75th minute at home to the Saints and having to play the final stages with nine men, having used up all three substitutes and also had a player sent off.
Bruce had expected Schar to face an eight-week lay-off after the operation, which passes on Tuesday, and the 29-year-old is still uncertain if he will feature again before the end of the season.
“I’m quite happy with where I am after seven weeks since my surgery,” he said. “The last five or six weeks, I was working hard in Switzerland. The only aim I had was to do as many hours for the rehab as possible.
“I think I am on the right way. Still, there is a bit to do and it’s going to be tight for some games this season.
“It’s my aim to help the team at the end of the season and I will do everything to try and do that, but I can’t exactly say if it is possible or not.”
Schar was making his 13th start of the Premier League campaign at home to Southampton before being forced off injured for his third spell on the sidelines this term, following surgery on his shoulder last July and later contracting coronavirus.
Bruce will be desperate for a change in Schar’s status and for Newcastle’s medical team to give the £10.8m-rated enforcer the green light to return, having seen United keep one clean sheet in the last seven games he has missed.
The Magpies have only managed two shutouts over Schar’s 16 top-flight appearances this term, but Bruce had fielded the £40,000-per-week enforcer in the starting line-up in nine of his side’s last 10 games at the time of his injury.
Schar was also pivotal at the back in helping United prevent Everton from scoring in January’s 2-0 win at Goodison Park, having been rock-solid and deliver a game-high seven clearances to keep the ball from the Toffees’ 14-goal top-scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
He was also Bruce’s hero against Manchester City in December despite losing 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium, having returned from a spell out with Covid to make a game-high five interceptions – three more than any player for either side – along with four clearances, per WhoScored.
Schar’s efforts have seen him make the third-most interceptions per game (1.6) of any Newcastle player in the Premier League this term, an attribute Bruce would no doubt love to have at his disposal amid a fight for survival and a trip to relegation rivals Burnley on Sunday.