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Newcastle duo Lejeune and Schar ready to return at Villa Park

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By Reuters
Newcastle duo Lejeune and Schar ready to return at Villa Park
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - May 9, 2018 Newcastle United's Florian Lejeune looks dejected after the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge   -   Copyright  Andrew Couldridge(Reuters)

(Reuters) – Newcastle United defenders Florian Lejeune and Fabian Schar are available for Monday’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa, manager Steve Bruce said on Thursday.

French defender Lejeune has not featured for Newcastle since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in April, while Schar has spent a month on the sidelines with a knee injury.

“Lejeune and Fab Schar have trained all the past two weeks so they come into reckoning in that respect,” Bruce told a news conference.

“The big one is Flo because he’s been out for so long. He’s done everything – played in games, got minutes under his belt on the training ground. Now he’s ready to go and the same for Fab Schar, too.

“As long as they come through the next two – three days unscathed, both come into contention and that can only be a good thing.”

Defender Ciaran Clark is a doubt for the trip to Villa Park after picking up a knock while away with Ireland and skipper Jamaal Lascelles has been ruled out until the New Year with a knee injury.

But Bruce was pleased to have defensive resources available heading into a hectic festive fixture list next month.

After beating Bournemouth and West Ham United, 13th-placed Newcastle visit Villa Park with an opportunity to record three consecutive top-flight victories for the first time since Nov. 2018.

“The difference in a couple of weeks with a couple of wins is remarkable,” Bruce said.

“They’re (the players) bouncing around the place and training has been as lively as it has been. We’ve got one or two knocks but we’ve got one or two getting back so let’s hope we can keep the run going.”

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)