MASSADIO Haidara is hoping for some welcome good news – with hopes rising that his knee injury isn’t as bad as first feared.
The young left-back was stretchered off against Wigan Athletic on Sunday after a horror tackle by Callum McManaman.
To add insult to injury, the Football Association yesterday announced no further action would be taken against McManaman, provoking anger and disbelief across the football community.
Newcastle are yet to comment on the extent of Haidara’s injury, but initial fears were that he’d suffered extensive ligament damage and bruising.
But while they wait on the results of another scan, hopes are that the Frenchman’s spell on the sidelines will be restricted to just weeks, and not months, though the full extent is not expected to be revealed for another few days.
United already received one fitness boost yesterday, with Yohan Cabaye coming through a training session with the France national team reporting no ill effects to the groin injury that forced him off early against Anzhi Makhachkala last Thursday, and which subsequently kept him out of the Wigan game.
It was the DW Stadium clash that was still making the headlines, however, after the FA ruled that their laws meant they wouldn’t be taking retrospective action against McManaman.
That prompted an angry statement from Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias, which SportMail reported in full online yesterday, which included a blast at Wigan chairman Dave Whelan.
Llambias said: “It is our strongly held opinion that the tackle on Massadio was extremely dangerous and is the type of challenge that has the potential to cause serious harm, and such was the force, and reckless and dangerous nature of the challenge, even end a player’s career.
“It was not a fair challenge. This view is shared by countless former players, referees and well-respected media commentators. Indeed it appears to be only Dave Whelan who takes a contrary view.
“We are disappointed to learn that the FA is not going to charge the Wigan player.
“It is clear from this decision that the current disciplinary procedures are not fit for purpose.
“Whilst we understand that the current procedures give the FA limited options, it cannot be correct that the most serious offences - those which have the potential to cause another player serious harm - can go unpunished, even if the original incident was seen by match officials.”
An FA statement had earlier said that under their laws, if an incident has been seen by the match officials – in this case, believed to be linesman Matthew Wilkes and not referee Mark Halsey, there will be no ‘re-refereeing of incidents’.
It added: “In the case of McManaman, it has been confirmed that at least one of the match officials saw the coming together, though not the full extent of the challenge. In these circumstances retrospective action cannot be taken.”