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First Team1 month ago
Team News: Newcastle United
An upbeat Javi Gracia feels there is a possibility that Roberto Pereyra will be declared fit for Saturday's game with Newcastle United and able to help the team sign off their home campaign with a win.
The Argentine playmaker limped off against Crystal Palace and he missed the game against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Monday. The fear was that he would miss the rest of the season, but the Head Coach has been encouraged by the recovery of the former Juventus man.
“Pereyra is coming back,” said Gracia. “He is in full training with the team. It is possible Roberto will play.”
The news that Pereyra is in contention to return to the squad will be a welcome boost to the team's attacking options as the Head Coach will be without Stefano Okaka and André Carrillo.
“Okaka had an operation on Monday and yesterday he left hospital,” said Gracia. “He's okay. He's out of the team for sure for the rest of the season. Carrillo has an abductor problem, he's not available.”
The Head Coach also provided an update on the progress of Younès Kaboul, Tom Cleverley and Nathaniel Chalobah.
“Cleverley is out of the team,” said Gracia. “He is under treatment but I think it is not possible to play this season. Chalobah is training with the team and we'll see his evolution. He's training every day with us, but he needs to improve his condition. Kaboul needs to improve his physical condition as well but he's training with the team.”
Chairman Scott Duxbury said at a recent ‘At Your Place’ event that a review of the club's medical situation is well underway, but the situation is getting better and vastly improved to when Gracia turned up in January.
“In the beginning a lot of players were injured on my first day,” said Gracia. “There were 14-15 injured. Now we are in a better situation.”
The improved situation is reflected by the fact that Gerard Deulofeu came back quicker than expected after he limped off against Everton. The fear was his season might be over, but he came off the bench to positive effect against Tottenham Hotspur and showed flashes of the energy and spark that lifted the whole place when he first arrived from Barcelona.
“He is okay,” said the Head Coach. “He showed last game against Tottenham his virtues and what he can do. He needs to improve his physical condition and needs more training sessions, but he can help us in the next game. From the beginning or during the game, I don't know, but I'm sure he can help us.”