Mikel Arteta is hopeful Gabriel Magalhaes will be fit for Sunday’s trip to St James’ Park but his involvement in the squad won’t be decided until after tomorrow’s training session.
The Brazil international was forced off in the closing stages of Tuesday’s win 3-1 over Chelsea with what appeared to be an ankle injury following a collision with Aaron Ramsdale in the build-up to the Blues’ goal.
He initially carried on after receiving treatment before being replaced by Rob Holding with five minutes remaining.
“We’ll have to see tomorrow how he is,” Arteta told his press conference on Friday afternoon.
“He could not finish the game so that was obviously a big sign for us and we will have to see how he is tomorrow.”
The boss was also asked for an update on William Saliba who continues to work his way back to fitness following a back injury sustained in March.
“Not a lot of progress,” he replied. “He is feeling better every single day but he has not been able still to have any activity around the first team so we don’t expect him to be with us.”
Asked if Saliba is set to be ruled out for the rest of the season, he added: “We are not there yet today because we are always hopeful, players are always pushing to play, but if that’s the case, at some stage we will announce that. But hopefully, that won’t be the case.
“It’s about the healing process. Pain-wise and things that he can do now off the pitch and he’s in a good place but obviously, we have to build that capacity again to have the right impact, the right load and be in good condition to train and play for the team.”
The Gunners head to St James’ Park knowing a win against the Geordies will secure at least second spot in the table come the end of the season.
More importantly, it’ll also keep the pressure on Manchester City who have to juggle two domestic fixtures (Everton and Chelsea) with a Champions League double-header against Real Madrid in the space of 13 days.
Newcastle come into the clash in good form having won eight of their last 10 games in the league.