Newcastle United urged to follow Marcus Rashford example after 'sensible' Lewis Miley decision

Newcastle United have been told to take extra care with Lewis Miley as the 17-year-old recovers from a lower back injury.

Ben Dinnery, the founder of Premier Injuries, has urged the Magpies to look closely the course of rehabilitation dished out to Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford in years gone by, given the England international's successful return to playing after picking up a similar back problem in 2020.

Miley's meteoric has been the surprising story of the season at Newcastle, with the teenager emerging as a first-team regular during a campaign blighted by injuries for Eddie Howe's side. The young midfielder has played 30 times at club level this term, including in key clashes against the very best the Premier League and Champions League has to offer.

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However, Miley will now sit out the remainder of the campaign after picking up a lower back problem while away on international duty with England's youth sides, with Howe unwilling to risk him between now and the season finale in mid-May. Dinnery believes this is a positive decision by the Newcastle manager and cited Rashford's recovery as the example to follow when trying to get players involved after suffering such an issue.

"Lewis Miley was plucked from obscurity in terms of playing for the under-21s to suddenly being thrust into the first team, the Premier League and the Champions League," Dinnery, speaking to Chronicle Live on behalf of Crypto Casino, said. "Undoubtedly had it not been for injuries elsewhere within the squad, then Lewis would not have had that type of exposure that he's seen.

"He was outstanding coming in and has had a maturity beyond his years but you really do have a have a duty of care with regards to this and it's a very sensible decision from Howe. It's not just about protecting the player in the here and the now, in the short term. It's about looking at where he'll be in his long-term future.

"We've had several examples in recent times, in the Premier League, of players who've come in and suffered with this issue. I think [Matheus] Franca from Crystal Palace was a player who suffered a lower back stress fracture. We even had the likes of Stefan Bajcetic from Liverpool as well, who has had a significant spell out different types of injuries.

"These are all linked to that increase of intensity, from transitioning from junior or academy or development side, to first team and Premier League football. If managed correctly, then the prognosis is good.

"Marcus Rashford is a good example of someone who suffered with a lower back stress fracture a few seasons ago. He was managed, took time away from the game, was allowed to rest, recover, mature and grow and then eventually return and gradually integrated back in. This season aside, most of his performances since have been fairly positive."