Newcastle stars Jamaal Lascelles and Allan Saint-Maximin are suffering from the long-term effects of COVID-19, manager Steve Bruce has confirmed.
10 individuals at Newcastle tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month and their training ground was shut down and their game v Aston Villa postponed due to the outbreak.
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Newcastle trio Issac Hayden, Emil Krafth and Federico Fernandez have confirmed they tested positive, while Lascelles and Saint-Maximin last played on November 21 and the club were forced to confirm that both tested positive as report surfaced they had fallen out with Bruce.
Via our partners in the UK at Sky Sports, Bruce told the media his captain Lascelles and star winger Saint-Maximin are battling with the long-term impacts of COVID-19.
“My thoughts are with the two players, and the welfare of them,” Bruce said. “It’s frightening when you think they are young and fit and absolutely supreme athletes. If anybody needs reminding of how serious this is, then we have witnessed it. We’ve had vomiting, sores, mouth ulcers, no smell, no taste, but the big thing, and which is the worrying thing, is the welfare of one or two of them. It’s not great at all.”
“That long-term Covid is something which you wouldn’t think possible in young, fit, athletes. Unfortunately, it is so. They go for a walk for half an hour and then they want to go back to bed. It’s as brutal as that. The fatigue is the one thing that has hit them all. For two of them, it’s beyond that. We hope there’s light at the end of the tunnel, but some are finding it a struggle.”
Newcastle face Brentford in a League Cup quarterfinal on Tuesday, while they face a tough trip to Manchester City on Boxing Day.
Per communication from the club, it is not known when either Lascelles or Saint-Maximin will return.
With a surge of COVID-19 cases in England over the last week, particularly in London and the South East due to a new strain of the virus, teams in the second and third tiers of English soccer have already had to postpone upcoming games due to current outbreaks in their squads.