Andy Carroll could be in line to be named as a substitute for Newcastle United’s Premier League clash with Brighton next weekend, and is facing a “crucial few days”, according to Chronicle journalist Ciaran Kelly.
The 30-year-old hitman has yet to feature for his boyhood club since re-signing over the summer, but that could change against the Seagulls.
Writing for the Chronicle (12.26), Kelly said: “Andy Carroll got the nod from his London specialist on Friday and the Newcastle United striker has a crucial few days of training ahead of him.
“Steve Bruce said on Friday if that appointment went well, Carroll could be in line to be named among the Magpies’ substitutes against Brighton.
“Carroll took part in the non contact sections of training last week – the warm-up, boxes and possession drills – and his ankle has had no adverse reaction so the obvious next step is getting involved in the thick of the action at Benton. The 30-year-old has not played since February so is obviously lacking match sharpness so Bruce will still be wary of demanding too much too soon.
“Saying that, Carroll being named among the substitutes would give everyone a lift before a ball is even kicked as Newcastle have lacked firepower on the bench in recent weeks.”
Having Carroll back would be a huge boost for Steve Bruce, in both a footballing sense and as a morale lifter. The big Geordie has yet to feature for his boyhood side since coming back from West Ham over the summer, but the extent to which the fanbase got excited about his return should tell you just how good it would be for the Magpies to have him around the match day squad. In terms of what he can offer on the pitch, that is obviously going to be affected how well he can maintain his fitness. If he can stay healthy, then there are few players in the top flight who can cause the kind of chaos that he can. Last term for the Hammers, despite enduring an injury ravaged campaign, Carroll still managed to win 9.1 aerial duels per 90 minutes, as per Whoscored. If can being that level of physicality with him then the likes of Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin, players who like to get in behind a defence, could really stand to profit.