Newcastle United have handed star striker Andy Carroll a much-needed rest, sending him to Dubai for a week to rest a nagging thigh injury, with manager Alan Pardew hoping the break will "refresh his batteries".
The England striker aggravated the injury following Newcastle's defeat at Tottenham on December 28 and now faces a race to be fit for the Tyne-Wear derby at Sunderland on Sunday week. Pardew, who believes Carroll has a 50-50 chance of being available for the trip to the Stadium of Light, feels the decision to give the 21-year-old a week in the sun will benefit the club's top scorer in the long run. "I've sent Andy away, Pardew told the Guardian. "He's had a tough season so I've told him to get some sun. It's a total rest for Andy. He's a super player, I love him to bits and I just want to make sure he comes back refreshed.
"The injury might be a blessing in disguise – the break might be a good thing for Andy, it might refresh his batteries. If you get the opportunity to give players a break you have to, for sure. I think this is an opportunity for Andy."