Bruno Guimaraes admits he feared the worst when injuring his ankle against Fulham.
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The Brazilian was forced off at half-time in tears during the narrow win over Marco Silva’s side earlier this month, with Eddie Howe admitting his star midfielder was “very distressed”.
With the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final on the horizon at the time, the sight of the 25-year-old is so much pain was a real worry, although Guimaraes would return for the to Crystal Palace less than a week later.
Guimaraes then played the full 90 minutes as Newcastle beat Southampton in the first leg and, barring a setback on the injury front, will be playing in the second leg on Tuesday as the club look to book a famous trip to Wembley.
What has Guimaraes said about his injury return?
Speaking to The Chronicle, Guimaraes said: “I cried when I got injured. That was because I was nervous about this injury as it was the same one I had when I played for Brazil.
“Back then I was out for three weeks. I would like to say thank you to the medical staff who did a big job to get me back. But it was just really important to help the team. I am proud of myself and proud of the boys as well.”
How well did Guimaraes play against Southampton?
Clearly, having the former Lyon man back was a major boost.
With goals a problem as it is, missing such a combative and creative figure in equal measure would have made a tight game all the more nerve-racking.
According to WhoScored data, Guimaraes was one of seven Newcastle players to register a key pass, won two aerial duels and made a tackle and an interception apiece. No one on the pitch played as many accurate through balls (2), while five of his seven long balls found their target.
Handed the Player of the Match Award, it’s scary to think just how the game might have gone without him.