Jonjo Shelvey looked to be in great shape pre-season, the fittest he had ever been during his time at Newcastle United, having worked with a personal training during the summer ‘break’.
However, in the friendly against Benfica, the Newcastle midfielder limped off with an injury.
In late July, a few days after the match, both Keith Downie (Sky Sports) and Craig Hope (The Mail) reported that their information was that the hamstring problem wasn’t very serious, with estimates of between two and four weeks before Jonjo Shelvey would be available again.
Having missed the final stages of last season through injury, the consensus of opinion had been that Shelvey would almost certainly return to the starting eleven for the opening match of the season, with Eddie Howe having selected the former Liverpool player in 22 of the 23 Premier League matches he had been available for last season.
However, this a temporary blow for Eddie Howe if Jonjo Shelvey was going to miss the first handful of matches.
Sadly, those early return predictions have proved to be overly optimistic, with those same two journalists now giving a further update.
They have both reported that the hamstring problem has proved to be far worse than first thought, with a specialist deciding surgery was the best course of action.
Jonjo Shelvey went under the knife on Saturday and both Sky Sports and The Mail say that this means at least 12 weeks out of action for Jonjo Shelvey.
Realistically, it looks as though Jonjo Shelvey will miss at least 18 games, two rounds of the League Cup and the first sixteen Premier League games.
The Premier League breaks for the World Cup after Sunday 13 November and so that is in favour of Jonjo Shelvey, as it will then give him those six weeks of World Cup interruption to ensure he is fully fit for when the Premier League resumes for Newcastle with a scheduled away match at Leicester on 26 December.
Joe Willock got the nod on Saturday in Shelvey’s absence and did a decent job, so it now looks like it will be between him and Sean Longstaff to play alongside Joelinton and Bruno in midfield, unless a move is made in the transfer market. It also potentially increases the opportunity for Elliot Anderson to get more of a chance.
It now looks for sure that Jonjo Shelvey will have to wait until 2023 before he manages to get the three games that will trigger a one year extension to his current contract.