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Steve Bruce admits he has "big decision" to make over Callum Wilson

Steve Bruce admits he has
© Reuters
The Magpies striker has 10 goals to his name so far this season but tore a hamstring against Southampton on February 6.

Steve Bruce has admitted he has a big decision to make as he prepares to unleash leading scorer Callum Wilson on the Premier League once again.

The £20million summer signing, who had 10 goals to his name when he tore a hamstring against Southampton on February 6, is back in training and available for Sunday's trip to Burnley as the fight for top-flight survival approaches crunch point.

However, asked if he would be able to start both Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin, who returned from a groin injury as a substitute against Tottenham last weekend, at Turf Moor, Bruce said: "Well, that's the big decision I have to make, of course.

"I'm mindful of the fact that both of them, they aren't impact, they're muscle injuries – a groin and a hamstring, which always you've got to box carefully with.

"But I'm also wary that we've only got six weeks of the season left, so I hope I make the right choice."

Bruce's joy at Wilson's impending return – the Magpies have won none of the seven games he has missed – has been tempered by the prospect of losing skipper Jamaal Lascelles for the run-in with the central defender due to undergo scans on a suspected stress fracture of his foot on Friday.

The 60-year-old Bruce said: "Obviously, we've still got two days of training when we train today and tomorrow, but Callum and Allan have trained all week, so that's good news for us that they're available.

"The disappointing thing is we've lost the captain, Lascelles, with a foot injury which unfortunately happened last week against Spurs, so that's a blow to us. With Fab Schar missing too, it leaves us a bit light there.

Arsenal v Newcastle United – Premier League – Emirates Stadium
Jamaal Lascelles is an injury concern for the Magpies (Adam Davy/PA)

"It's not looking so good at the moment. He's going to have more scans and all the rest of it today and over the weekend, but it's not looking good. He won't play this weekend, that's for sure."

Republic of Ireland international Ciaran Clark, who was an unused substitute for the 2-2 draw with Spurs on Sunday, is likely to deputise for Lascelles, although Federico Fernandez is also back after recovering from a calf problem, but has not played since January 12.

Newcastle have drawn four of their last five games and sit three points clear of the relegation zone heading into the latest round of fixtures after briefly dropping into the bottom three when Fulham took the lead at Aston Villa.

Bruce said: "I got home last week and my good lady had cooked me Sunday lunch. By the time we were just sitting down, [Aleksandar] Mitrovic had just scored for Fulham, and by the time I'd had my apple pie and custard, they'd lost 3-1."

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Newcastle United's Callum Wilson after being substituted due to injury in February 2021
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Friday's key events

· Great Britain's women aim to secure their place on the podium as they face India in the bronze medal match (2.30am)
· Netherlands - silver medallists five years ago - and Argentina battle for the gold medal in the women's final (11am)

· The women's gold medal will be decided as Australia and USA go head to head (3.30am)

· Lauren Price will be looking to add to Team GB's success in the ring when she takes on Nouchka Fontijn of Netherlands in the women's middleweight semi-final (6am)

· Tom Daley already has one Olympic gold to his name in Tokyo, and he begins his bid for second in the men's 10m platform. Teammate Noah Williams is also involved in the preliminary round (7am)

· Jason Kenny's reign as sprint king may be over, but Jack Carlin looked strong in his bid to succeed his compatriot. He takes on Harrie Lavreysen in his sprint semi-final (8.10am), with the final taking place later in the day (10.35am)
· The women's madison makes its Olympic debut at the velodrome as Team GB duo Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny look to add another medal to their collections (9.15am)

· Hosts Japan will look to get themselves on the podium as they face Mexico in the men's bronze medal match (10am)
· The women's champions will be crowned as both Sweden and Canada aim to win Olympic gold for the very first time (1pm)

· The men's 5000m final includes Great Britain's Andrew Butchart, but most eyes will be on Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei (1pm)
· Team GB's Jodie Williams will hope to get on the podium in the women's 400m final, but defending champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo is favourite for gold while Stephenie Ann McPherson should challenge and Allyson Felix is bidding to become the most decorated female track and field athlete of all time (1.35pm)
· Netherlands' Sifan Hassan takes on leg two of her ambitious attempt at a Tokyo treble in a women's 1500m final which also includes Great Britain's Laura Muir and Faith Kipyegon of Kenya (1.50pm)
· A star-studded women's 4x100m relay final will see a Team GB quartet including Dina Asher-Smith look to upset defending champions USA and favourites Jamaica, who boast Elaine Thompson-Herah as she goes for her third gold of the Games (2.30pm)
· Great Britain and Jamaica will also be going for gold in the men's 4x100m relay final, and their medal hopes have been boosted by USA's failure to qualify (2.50pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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