Scott Wilson from The Northern Echo reported after the game against Bournemouth last Saturday that, in Howe’s words, “Allan Saint-Maximin has suffered a setback in his recovery from injury—and faces a battle to be fit for the resumption of the Premier League programme after the international break.”
Eddie Howe opted to leave the winger off the squad that faced his former club entirely, and now we know the reason behind that decision.
Saint-Maximin’s injury happened in the last minutes of the Magpies game against Wolves a few weeks ago when ASM was the goalscorer for Newcastle, earning them a draw. He was expected back on the pitch by the time Newcastle was expected to face West Ham—a game later postponed—and undoubtedly for the one against Bournemouth this past Saturday. Alas, that never came to happen.
Howe spoke to the media after that game saying that “[Saint-Maximin] has had a very minor setback with the physios, so whether or not he’ll be fit after the international break is slightly unclear.“ That, paired with the absence of striker Callum Wilson, has the Magpies' forward-line in shambles and hurting for goals.
Doubling down on his words, Howe claimed that “[ASM’s injury] is certainly not long term, but it’s not clear whether he’ll be fit for our next game yet.”
About Wilson, Howe said that “Callum’s doing very well,” later adding that “he was close for [Saturday’s game], but I think we made an early decision that it would have been too big a risk.”
With most members of Newcastle getting a well-earned rest over this and next week as part of the last international break before the 2022 World Cup, odds are Wilson and ASM get back on track soon enough—maybe even to face Fulham when the Premier League gets back at the start of October.
That’s still up in the air, though, and we will have to wait to see whether or not both, one, or none of the two Magpie attackers are available and fit to play a part in the upcoming affair with the Lily Whites away from home on MD8.