Chancel Mbemba's injury isn't as bad as Newcastle United feared

Chancel Mbemba's injury isn't as bad as Newcastle United feared.

Saturday, 13th February 2016, 6:00 am

The defender suffered an ankle problem in last week’s defeat to Everton.

And United head coach Steve McClaren had feared that Mbemba would miss a number of games.

However, after seeing two specialists, Newcastle are hopeful that Mbemba could be back for the away game against Stoke City on March 2 – or for the home fixture against Bournemouth three days later.

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“From our reports, Chancel could be fit for the Stoke game, or certainly the Bournemouth game after that,” said McClaren, whose relegation-threatened side take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this evening.

“That’s a bit of a plus for it. He went to London for a second opinion, and then Belgium. The consensus is that with the right treatment, he could be fit in about a month.”

Paul Dummett, Mbemba’s defensive colleague, suffered a recurrence of a hamstring problem at Goodison Park.

And McClaren and his medical staff, mindful that he had a spell out with a hamstring injury late last season, have pencilled him in to return to training next week.

“Because of the problems Dummett had last season with his hamstring, we have to be a bit wary with him,” said McClaren.

“It’s the same thing again, so we’re just being a bit cautious to make sure everything is put right.

“He missed a lot of games towards the end of last season, and we don’t want that again. He’ll be starting to train next week.”