Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Simpson in Fitness Race for Europe; Simpson Waiting on Injury Progress

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Simpson in Fitness Race for Europe; Simpson Waiting on Injury Progress

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

DANNY Simpson is facing a race to be fit for Newcastle United's first home game of the Europa League group stage.

The Mancunian strained his hamstring in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, days after fellow right-back Ryan Taylor damaged his cruciate knee ligaments.

The prognosis was better than the Magpies feared, but will still rule their first-choice full-back out of the start of their European campaign proper. "It's a lot better than I first thought," Simpson revealed on the club's official website.

"I have never had a hamstring problem before. I just felt something bad and I knew straight away I would have to come off.

"I will just have to see how it is at the start of next week and take it from there, but hopefully I won't miss too many games."

"It is hopefully three weeks, maybe four maximum.

"It depends on each person, their body and how quickly they recover, but it's a lot better than what we first thought.

"Already I'm walking easier than I was on Sunday, so that's a good sign."

Newcastle travel to Everton a week on Monday, then face Maritimo, Norwich City, Manchester United (in the League Cup), and Reading in the next three weeks.

They begin October with home games against Bordeaux, in the Europa League, and the Red Devils once more, this time in the Premier League.

As a former Manchester United player and supporter, they are two matches which will resonate with Simpson, and he is sure to want to be involved in both. He admits, though, he is unsure how quickly he can recover. "Injuries are part and parcel of being a footballer, but I'm not used to it - I haven't had many," he continued. "For a long time, I haven't really had any issues in that area. "It's just one of those things, though. "With there not being a game for two weeks, if there is a time to have a little niggle then it's probably now. …

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