EDDIE HOWE has confirmed Sandro Tonali has returned from international duty with a thigh injury, with the Italian midfielder set to miss Newcastle United’s weekend game with Brentford.

Tonali played in Italy’s opening game of the international break against North Macedonia, but was forced to sit out his national side’s win over Ukraine earlier this week.

He was complaining of pain in his thigh, so Newcastle’s medical staff arranged for a scan when he returned to England.

That revealed minor damage, meaning Tonali is unlikely to feature in tomorrow’s meeting with the Bees, with Sean Longstaff set to replace the Italian at the heart of midfield. At this stage, it is uncertain whether Tonali will have recovered in time to play in Tuesday’s opening Champions League game against his former club, AC Milan, at the San Siro.

“I think he (Tonali) felt his thigh in training, so he’s come back in and had a scan,” said Howe. “There’s a slight injury there, but it’s nothing serious or too long. We’ll wait and see whether he’s available this weekend.”


There is better news on Sven Botman, with the Dutch centre-half having recovered from the ankle injury that kept him out of the defeat to Brighton that preceded the international break and prevented him from being considered for a call-up to the Netherlands squad.

“He’s (Botman) trained this week, so it’s fingers crossed for Sven,” said Howe. “We’ll see how he goes today.”

Botman is set to resume his centre-half partnership with Fabian Schar tomorrow, with Elliot Anderson also expected to be part of the squad despite having withdrawn from international duty with Scotland because of a knock.

“We hope Elliot will be okay to be in the squad,” added Howe. “Fingers crossed, he’ll make it.”