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Newcastle United: Eddie Howe urged to keep playing Alexander Isak after injury return

Journalist Craig Hope has claimed Newcastle United need to rush striker Alexander Isak back from injury despite any risk that it could further damage the player

What’s the word?

The Sweden international had been out with a hamstring injury since September but managed to surprise many by starting in the club’s recent FA Cup match.

Indeed, Isak played 45 minutes before being substituted off at halftime in the 2-1 defeat away against Sheffield Wednesday on the weekend.

Manager Eddie Howe has since said it was always ‘the plan’ to take the forward off during the break and seemed happy with the display, referring to the 23-year-old as ‘lively’ even though he failed to take his chances in front of goal.

When speaking about it all on his YouTube channel, Hope admitted that he had been surprised by Isak’s inclusion in the starting lineup, but insisted that it was right to push the player into action.

He said (4:34): “So the other little bit of surprise news before the game, of course, was that Alexander Isak was starting.

“While on the face of it, I was sort of quite taken aback by that given how cautious Eddie’s been with regards to his fitness in recent weeks, I do see the need for it, to just to get him up to speed as quickly as possible.

“And listen if his body is going to break – this might sound a little facetious – but if his body is going to break, it’s going to break down.

“You know, they need to test him, they need to put him in there. You can’t sort of dance around this for too long, the need is there for him now to get Isak up to speed.

“And I say that because Callum Wilson, clearly doubts remain around his fitness that will always be the case. And very real doubts are around the form of Chris Wood.”

Should Alexander Isak start the next Newcastle game?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Worth the risk?

As alluded to by Hope, Wilson has battled with many injury issues throughout his career and has had hamstring troubles this term too.

On top of that, alternative striker option Wood has failed to score on a regular basis when called upon with only two goals in 17 league games this season.

And so, there is certainly a lot of pressure on Isak to not only score the goals but also just stay healthy. Unfortunately, seeing as he has made just four appearances for the Magpies since joining in the summer, he’s not yet been able to deliver – although he does have two goals in only three league outings.

With that in mind, you can see why Howe is so keen to get the 23-year-old back on the pitch and up to full speed. However, if the striker is rushed back too early, he runs the risk of further damaging himself.

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