Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles has returned to light training after recovering from Covid-19 but Allan Saint-Maximin could miss three weeks more action from the long-term effects of the virus.
Lascelles will be assessed on his return to light sessions before it is decided when he can return to action after missing five games. Saint-Maximin has been out for the same length of time but will be out for a longer period of time, according to sources at the club.
Saint-Maximin, 23, will miss the festive period and is expected to be absent from Steve Bruce’s squad until at least mid-January, although his progress will also be closely monitored.
Both tested positive for coronavirus last month during an outbreak of the virus at the club which led to the Premier League fixture against Aston Villa being postponed.
“My thoughts are with the two players, and the welfare of them,” said Bruce when discussing the pair. “It’s frightening when you think they are young and fit and absolutely supreme athletes. If anybody needs reminding of how serious this is, then we have witnessed it.
“We’ve had vomiting, sores, mouth ulcers, no smell, no taste, but the big thing, and which is worrying, is the welfare of one or two of them. It’s not great at all. That long-term Covid is something which you wouldn’t think possible in young, fit athletes. Unfortunately, it is so.
“They go for a walk for half an hour and then they want to go back to bed.. It’s as brutal as that.”
Bruce’s team won matches against Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion following the outbreak but have failed to record a victory since, losing against Leeds United and in the EFL Cup to Brentford, while drawing against Fulham.
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