(Reuters) – Newcastle manager Eddie Howe is sweating over the fitness of defender Fabian Schar ahead of Sunday’s Premier League match at Manchester City.
Switzerland international Schar, who has featured in 23 of Howe’s first 25 games as Newcastle boss, was forced off during their 1-0 league loss to Liverpool last week with a foot injury.
“We haven’t seen him this week. We hope he’ll be back to be available but he’s not trained yet,” Howe told reporters on Friday.
“He got a knock on the top of his foot so he went for a scan after the Liverpool game because it was swollen up but fortunately there’s no fracture.”
Newcastle top-scorer Callum Wilson could feature for the first time since being sidelined by a foot injury in December.
“He’s trained all week. He’s trained very well, he had two really tough days and he’s come through them well,” Howe said.
“He’s put a lot of work in to get to this point. He looks in a good place and there’s a good chance he’ll be involved on Sunday.”
Right back Kieran Trippier is also in contention for the first time since February after recovering from a fractured metatarsal, with Howe set to make a late call on the former Atletico Madrid player.
Newcastle, who are 10th, have never won a Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium and have lost on their last 12 league visits to leaders City, but Howe was encouraged by his team’s performance against second-placed Liverpool last weekend.
“It’s the toughest test,” he added. “I was a little bit disappointed with the performance last week, I thought we could have played better, but we were still close. I hope we get even closer this time.”
(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Toby Davis)