Newcastle United are facing a major injury worry over Joe Willock ahead of their Premier League clash against Wolves on Friday night.
Writing on Twitter, journalist Craig Hope revealed: “Joe Willock a doubt for Friday’s visit of Wolves with a knee injury, opening door for Bruno’s first home start. Also understand Kieran Trippier will miss Wolves & Leicester but there remains hope he’ll be back this month.”
While seeing Willock complete the full 90 minutes against Spurs may have offered some hope that the injury he sustained was nothing too serious, Hope’s update is certainly a worrying one for the Magpies boss.
Speaking later in his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Howe delivered a further update on Willock’s condition.
He said: “Joe Willock has had a slight knee problem for a couple of weeks. He’s become a bit more aware of it in training so it’s something we need to stay on top of. We’ll make a late call on him. We don’t think it’s anything serious.”
Despite not seeing Willock hit the heady heights of last season, when he scored eight goals in just 14 Premier League games for the club following his loan move to St James’ Park, the England youth international still offers that box-to-box presence and dynamism from midfield.
The 5-1 defeat to Spurs last time out just raised a sliver of doubt over whether the Magpies have well and truly escaped from the relegation battle this season, especially with Burnley’s seismic 3-2 victory over Everton on Wednesday night.
The result in Lancashire has meant both Burnley and Everton are just seven and six points behind the Magpies respectively, having also played a game less than the Tyneside club too.
Injuries at this stage of the season, and with so much on the line too, can be incredibly taxing for managers, and for Howe, being without one of his key first-team options in midfield in Willock is something that will worry him ahead of tomorrow night.