Eddie Howe is “hoping” that Newcastle United record signing Alexander Isak “can play a big part in a busy January” as he prepares to return from injury.
The £60m summer signing has only been able to make three appearances for Newcastle as he has been sidelined with a thigh injury.
Isak is unlikely to feature for the Magpies before the New Year but it will no be long before he is back in action.
Head coach Eddie Howe said: “He’s doing well and we’re pleased with him, but he probably won’t make the next couple of Premier League games. We’re hoping he can play a big part in a busy January.
“Alex is out running and he’s kicking a ball. But when you re-injure a part of your body, as he did, we have to be careful.
“We’re listening to the medical team to try to get this next part right because this is the most important bit. He’s nearly there. We just have to make sure that when he steps onto the pitch he is fully ready.
“I don’t want a half-ready player. He has to be ready to execute what we need.”
Isak’s absence has been all the more disappointing for both the 23-year-old and his new club because of the initial impact he made, scoring on his debut at Liverpool in an all-round impressive display and adding a penalty against Bournemouth before injury struck.
Howe said: “I’d say it’s been very difficult for him, without being in his head. I’ve had a feeling of that, going to a new club.
“I moved to Portsmouth and never played really, just two games. I had a lot of emotions running through me, feelings of guilt and letting people down, my body not being able to allow me to execute what I wanted it to.
“Alex will no doubt feel some of those emotions in some degree, so I know that feeling. You want to go and prove yourself at a new club and to new supporters. He just hasn’t been able to do that.
“He scored at home and scored at Liverpool, where he performed brilliantly. There is a very good feeling around him.
“There is just a frustration from a supporter’s side that they haven’t seen more of him because I think they know he’s an outstanding talent.”
READ MORE: Howe and Arteta shake up Liverpool-City hegemony in F365’s top 10 Premier League managers of 2022