Saint-Maximin & Lascelles out with Covid as Newcastle boss Bruce reveals fatigued Toon stars 'struggling to walk'

NEWCASTLE winger Allan Saint-Maximin and skipper Jamaal Lascelles have been suffering from the long-term effects of Covid-19.

The Magpies revealed their identities to quash rumours of a bust-up between the Toon pair and boss Steve Bruce.

Neither Saint-Maximin nor Lascelles — along with Javier Manquillo and Fabian Schar — has featured since November 21 following a coronavirus outbreak.

At least ten players and staff have been affected. And, ahead of the Carabao Cup quarter-final at Brentford, Bruce declared: “Yes, we want to win a cup-tie, but the players’ welfare comes first.

“And we’ve got one or two poorly and it could be with them for weeks, months.”

On Friday Bruce revealed the “frightening” and “brutal” impact the virus had had on his players.

Bruce said: “You all know who is struggling and who’s not and, as I said, one or two are struggling even more.

"They go for a walk for half an hour and then they want to go back to bed. It's as brutal as that.

"The fatigue is the one thing that has hit them all. For two of them, it's beyond that.

"We hope there's light at the end of the tunnel, but some are finding it a struggle.

“Thankfully, a couple of my staff are getting a bit better, but it’s the after-effects fatigue-wise that is the big problem.”

Maximin yesterday confirmed he had not had any fall-out with Bruce, insisting: “I have no problem with Steve Bruce. I love this trainer.”

When asked if he is injured, he replied: “No.”

Lascelles watched Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Fulham from the stands.

Isaac Hayden, Federico Fernandez and Emil Krafth have all confirmed they have been Covid victims, with Fernandez lasting only until half-time against Fulham, suffering from “fatigue.”

Bruce said: “For a couple of them it’s had a damaging effect. It’s frightening when you think they’re young, fit and supreme athletes.”

Isaac Hayden is among the players to have confirmed they were struck down by the virus.

The 25-year-old told talkSPORT: "It took me by surprise, to be honest, how badly it affected me.

"I definitely underestimated it.

"I was thinking, ‘I’m a young and healthy athlete, if I have it I’d be asymptomatic and I’d be fine’.

"But it was tough; I was in bed for seven to ten days, doing very little and having pretty much every symptom going. It was very difficult."

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