RYAN FRASER is set to be sidelined for up to a month after suffering a groin injury, with Steve Bruce also having to monitor a number of Newcastle United’s recovering Covid victims ahead of tomorrow’s game with Liverpool.

Fraser was not involved in the Boxing Day defeat at Manchester City after injuring his groin in the Carabao Cup defeat at Brentford, and the Scotsman will definitely miss tomorrow’s meeting with Jurgen Klopp’s champions and Sunday’s home game with Leicester City. He is also expected to sit out the following weekend’s FA Cup tie at Arsenal.

“We’ll be without Ryan for a while,” said Newcastle boss Steve Bruce. “He’s hurt his groin. We’ve had an ongoing cycle with Ryan. He’s had to deal with hamstrings and now his groin. We all know he didn’t play after last March, so he’s got a few problems in terms of his muscular situation. I don’t think he’ll make Liverpool, and the week after will still be a bit early as well. We’ll have to see how he is after that.”

Jeff Hendrick and Paul Dummett missed the Manchester City game because they were “unwell”, and along with Fabian Schar, who ended a lengthy exile by playing at the Etihad, the pair were being assessed today to ascertain whether they will be available tomorrow.

Jonjo Shelvey should be part of the squad to face his former side, having sat out Saturday’s defeat because of the ongoing after-effects of his autumn groin surgery.

“Jonjo had a groin operation a month or so ago and, unfortunately, he’s been very sore with the amount of games he’s been playing,” said Bruce. “Typical Jonjo, he wants to play in every game, but we took him out of the firing line to make sure he’s ready and he can recover properly from what has been a difficult time for him in terms of his groin.”

Callum Wilson will be back in the side tomorrow, having been rested at the weekend.

Newcastle (probable, 5-4-1): Darlow; Murphy, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Lewis; Hendrick, Shelvey, Hayden, Almiron; Wilson.