Eddie Howe explains Newcastle United Austria tour absentee

Eddie Howe’s issued an update on Federico Fernandez and Javier Manquillo ahead of the new season.
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The defensive pair haven’t featured so far in pre-season for Newcastle United. Fernandez, in the final year of his contract, is with the squad in Austria, but has a slight calf injury, while Manquillo is having specialist treatment on a groin problem in Spain.

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Speaking ahead of this afternoon’s friendly against Mainz 05 in Kufstein, Howe said: “Fede’s picked up a minimal calf injury. It’s tight, but we’re taking it carefully to build him back up before he trains.

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“Fede, as I’ve said many times, is one of the leaders of the group, a very positive influence around the players, so I’m delighted he’s here.

“We hope to get him back on the pitch as soon as possible.”

Manquillo missed the end of last season through injury, and Howe hopes to have him with the group later this week when the squad leaves for Portugal, where they will play Burnley and Benfica.

United’s head coach said: “He’s got a groin problem that he had at the end of last season.

Newcastle United defender Federico Fernandez.Newcastle United defender Federico Fernandez.
Newcastle United defender Federico Fernandez.

“It wasn’t fixed in the summer, so he’s away having treatment in Barcelona or Madrid, but I think he should be back maybe around the Portugal trip - or maybe just after to train.”

Jamal Lewis – who had surgery on a groin injury last season – is not yet in full training in Austria. Lewis was left out of the club’s 25-man Premier League squad for the second half of last season.