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Aaron Stokes

Alexander Isak speaks out after leaving Sweden squad as Newcastle United sweat over injury

Newcastle United forward Alexander Isak admits he is 'longing' to play for Sweden again after being forced to withdraw from international duty due to injury. The 23-year-old trained alone earlier this week after a minor knock but will now miss his country's upcoming fixtures against Serbia and Slovenia.

Isak departed the Sweden camp on Thursday and will now return to England as Newcastle cross their fingers over the severity of the injury. The former Real Sociedad striker has led the line in recent games with Callum Wilson sidelined with a hamstring problem.

Speaking after his international withdrawal, Isak said: "It feels very sad to have to leave the team. I had longed to play in the blue and yellow shirt again. I wish the boys the best of luck on Saturday and Tuesday."

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Earlier this week Sweden boss Janne Andersson called on Isak and Dejan Kulusevski to continue showing leadership on the international scene. However, The Blue and Yellow will now need to find a way through their Nations League clashes without the Magpies forward.

It is of course sad mainly for Alex but also for us as a team," Andersson said on Thursday. "After speaking with both our medical team and Alex, it is the right decision for him to leave. I hope he is back as soon as possible. Currently, we will not take out any new players. Now the full focus is on the preparations against Serbia on Saturday."

Isak may now miss Newcastle's October trip to Fulham with Eddie Howe already sweating over his sidelined attacking options. Callum Wilson is close to a return but Allan Saint-Maximin remains a doubt after picking up a minor setback before the draw with Bournemouth.

“He's had a very minor setback with the physios," Howe said of the Frenchman. "So, whether or not after the international break, he’ll be fit, is slightly unclear, but it’s certainly not long-term. But not clear if he’ll be fit for our next game [against Fulham on October 1] yet.”


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