Tue 31 Oct 2023, 10:26 · Ash Harrison

Eddie Howe now says 23-year-old has suffered a setback in his recovery and return date is 'unclear'

Eddie Howe now says 23-year-old has suffered a setback in his recovery and return date is 'unclear'
Will Matthews/PA
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It wasn't the news anyone wanted to hear this morning but when Eddie Howe faced the media ahead of tomorrow's Carabao Cup clash with Manchester United he gave an update on current injuries.

Newcastle United fans were hoping for some positive news to kick off the press conference, as Eddie Howe currently finds himself with several big players unavailable.

Unfortunately, it wasn't a positive start as the head coach confirmed that centre-back Sven Botman had suffered a setback in his recovery.

Howe said Botman could be on the long-term injury list

As relayed by Sky Sports' Keith Downie on X, the club still aren't sure what's going on with Botman's injury.

“There’s an issue there. We are working through various options to try & diagnose the injury properly. Does he fall into the longer-term category? Yeah, perhaps. But we’re awaiting clarity.”

This would be a blow at any time, but when we're already struggling for numbers and have such a packed fixture list, it's potentially devastating.

Our injuries often turn out to be worse than first feared

The 23-year-old Dutch international has been a colossus at the back for Newcastle since signing last summer having an outstanding first season in the Premier League.

Getty Images
Botman has been superb since signing from Lille in 2022

This season Botman has managed six appearances but has now missed eight games through injury, though Jamaal Lascelles has deputised admirably at the back.

We'd like to think Howe is just being tactically negative so his return comes sooner than we're all now thinking, but there's a definite theme of injuries being a lot worse than reported by the gaffer.