Newcastle team news: Fresh update on Joe Willock's injury setback ahead of Watford clash

Newcastle United midfielder Joe Willock

Joe Willock is not set to endure a long-term spell on the sidelines but will miss Newcastle United’s trip to Watford tomorrow, according to Newcastle World journalist Liam Kennedy.

What’s the latest news involving Willock?

Willock was pictured in a protective boot ahead of this weekend’s Premier League clash with newly-promoted Watford.

It comes after the midfielder had initially been a doubt for last week’s 1-1 draw with Leeds United but recovered in time to play the full 90 minutes.

Willock’s absence, which has been confirmed by Newcastle boss Steve Bruce, will come as a huge blow and Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie has revealed the 22-year-old, along with Jamaal Lascelles, will miss the next two Magpies fixtures and be unavailable until after the upcoming international break.

Newcastle sealed Willock’s return to St James’ Park by agreeing a fee in excess of £20million with Arsenal last month.

Bruce made Willock his number one target during the summer transfer window after the midfielder enjoyed a successful loan spell with the Magpies during the second half of last season, scoring eight goals in 14 appearances.

During his temporary stint on Tyneside, Willock also made history by becoming the first player since Alan Shearer to find the back of the net in seven consecutive Premier League outings.

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What has Liam Kennedy said about Willock’s injury?

Kennedy has confirmed Willock sustained a toe injury in innocuous circumstances at Newcastle’s training ground.

However, he has allayed fears that the former England under-21 international could be set for an extensive period on the sidelines.

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The journalist told GMS: “It was a bit of an unfortunate one. He’s actually kicked the ground during training and damaged one of his toes.

“It doesn’t look like it’s one that will keep him out for any length of time.”

Who could come into the side in Willock’s absence?

Willock has featured in every Newcastle fixture since joining the club on a permanent basis, so his unavailability will present an opportunity for another central midfielder.

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Whoever does come in for Willock is likely to be partnered in midfield by Sean Longstaff, who has played every minute of the last three Premier League encounters.

Isaac Hayden could push back into his preferred position after featuring in the heart of the Magpies’ back four in each of the last two fixtures, while Jeff Hendrick may be given the opportunity to stake a claim for a more regular spot having made just one substitute appearance in the Premier League this season.

Jonjo Shelvey has been absent since the opening day defeat to West Ham United.

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