Newcastle United manager John Carver has admitted to the Chronicle that striker Papiss Cisse has a persistent knee problem.
Cisse is a vital component of Newcastle’s attack with ten goals and one assist in the Premier League so far this season and Carver has admitted the club is managing the problem to get the best out of him.
“He’s got this issue with his knee. We have to maintain that and look after him properly,” said Carver.
“If he keeps scoring goals then he has to be in the team.”
The comments suggest that Carver needs to be selective over the rest of the season and prioritise when to use him and when to rest him.
Newcastle’s main aim is getting into the Premier League’s top ten and then staying there.
The side are out of both domestic cup competitions and aren’t in Europe, with 13 games left to go in the Premier League.
The challenge for Carver is judging the games where he absolutely needs to play to give the Newcastle attack a boost.
If Newcastle break into the top ten quickly, they can start hunting the top eight and then European places over the rest of the season.
If Europe becomes a possibility looking ahead to the spring, Cisse may well be held back for the side’s important run-in.