“He’s not injured” – Howe says Newcastle player is fine, he’s just not been picking him

Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe has admitted he’s been choosing not to play Ryan Fraser recently, rather than leaving him out because of a fitness issue.

Howe denies that the Scottish winger is carrying an injury, though he also insisted that his former Bournemouth player remains an important part of his squad.

“No, he’s not injured,” Howe told reporters when asked about Fraser’s situation.

“He just needs to keep training hard. He’s a valued member of the squad.

“I know him better than anyone and I know what he’s capable of. I’d love to see him back in a Newcastle shirt.”

It’s hard to imagine Fraser has much of a future at St James’ Park, but it’s interesting that Howe has also tried to defend the player during this difficult period.

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