Newcastle hope to have top scorer Alexander Isak back from a groin injury soon, possibly for Saturday’s Premier League game against Luton.
The Sweden forward left before halftime of a 3-1 win over Aston Villa in midweek, but assistant manager Jason Tindall said Friday that Isak ‘has a chance’ of playing when Luton visits St. James’ Park.
Tindall, who handled press duties while manager Eddie Howe was sick, said the 24-year-old Isak made improvements this week and will be assessed later Friday.
Isak has scored 10 league goals and 14 in total this season, so his availability would be a boost for eighth-place Newcastle especially if veteran striker Callum Wilson isn’t back.
Wilson hasn’t played since late December because of a calf injury but has made progress toward a return.
The Saudi-controlled northeast team, which didn’t add any senior-level players in the January transfer window, is also without Joelinton. The Brazil midfielder is recovering from thigh surgery.
Luton’s 1-0 win over Newcastle on Dec. 23 sent the Magpies on a four-game losing streak in league play. Newcastle halted the slide Tuesday at Villa.
Howe was expected to be back for Saturday’s game, Tindall said.
Despite their chronic striker shortage, Newcastle recorded an impressive win in midweek ending Villa’s long unbeaten home record.
‘Really important,’ said Tindall of the win over Unai Emery’s side. ‘We knew we needed to get back on track, we had a good result at Fulham in the FA Cup.
‘To go there and perform the way we did was great for us and it gives us confidence going into the game this weekend.
‘We have had a lot more contact time on the training pitch with the players and I think that has shown in our last two performances.
‘We have come off the back of a difficult schedule, the last two results have given us a lot of confidence and hopefully we can build on that. The mood has been great.’