Willock, Isak and Gordon: Newcastle United injury list and return dates ahead of Nottingham Forest clash

The latest injury updates from Newcastle United ahead of Saturday's visit to Premier League rivals Nottingham Forest.
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Newcastle United may have been left with mixed emotions following their weekend draw with Luton Town after they were forced to battle back from two goals down to extend their unbeaten run to a third game.

Following their FA Cup fourth round win at Fulham, Eddie Howe's men were in fine form as two Fabian Schar goals led them to a 3-1 win at Aston Villa and that was followed up with an action-packed 4-4 home draw with the Hatters at St. James' Park on Saturday afternoon. All eyes are now on Saturday's trip to the City Ground as the Magpies look to push their way firmly into the mix for a European place.

However, there are several major decisions facing Howe as he continues to contend with a lengthy injury list that was further increased by the loss of a key player in the draw with the Hatters. Here are the latest injury updates from Newcastle and looks at who could be in contention for the trip to the City Ground:

Joelinton

The Brazil international has not featured since he hobbled out of the FA Cup third round win at Sunderland in early January. The Magpies confirmed Joelinton had undergone surgery on a thigh injury and seems unlikely to return until the final weeks of the season. Expected return date: May 2024

Nick Pope

Pope has been out of action since he suffered a serious shoulder injury in the narrow home win against Manchester United in December and there were initially concerns he would miss the rest of the season. However, there has been positive noises about an earlier than expected return to action. Expected return date: Mid-April

Matt Targett

The left-back suffered what he described as a 'freak' injury in the Carabao Cup win at Manchester United in November and had surgery on a thigh issue just days later. The former Southampton and Aston Villa defender is working his way back to fitness and is hoping to return to contention next month. Expected return date: Early March

Elliot Anderson

This season seems to have represented something of a missed opportunity for Anderson as the absence of several midfielders through injury and suspension would have given him a chance to shine in Eddie Howe's side. A lower back injury has kept him on the sidelines since October but there is some hope he will return later this month. Expected return date: Late February

Alexander Isak

Alexander Isak of Newcastle United speaks to Referee, Thomas Bramall during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Burnley FC, (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)Alexander Isak of Newcastle United speaks to Referee, Thomas Bramall during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Burnley FC, (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Alexander Isak of Newcastle United speaks to Referee, Thomas Bramall during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Burnley FC, (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Swedish striker was ruled out of Saturday's dramatic draw with Luton Town with the groin injury he sustained just before half-time in the impressive midweek win against Aston Villa. Although there were said to be some hopes Isak would return for the trip to the City Ground, a return by the end of February now seems a more realistic target. Expected return date: Late February

Joe Willock

The impact of Willock's lengthy absence should not be underplayed, such is the impact the former Arsenal man tends to make on the Magpies midfield. Willock has not played since a defeat at Bournemouth in November but has slowly made his way back towards full fitness and there is a chance he could be available for the meeting with Forest. Expected return date: Friday

Jamaal Lascelles

The former Nottingham Forest defender will hope to play some part against his old club on Saturday after a calf injury has limited him to just two substitute appearances since the turn of the year. Lascelles' injury was described as 'not serious' by Howe last month and there is hope he will be available for this weekend. Expected return date: Friday

Anthony Gordon

Gordon has been, without question, one of Newcastle's main players this season and his performances across the campaign have been a real positive. That is why there was major concern when the former Everton forward suffered an ankle injury in Saturday's draw with Luton Town. As yet, it is unclear when a return to action could take place as United await further news on the severity of the injury. Expected return date: Unknown