Some surprising good news on Sunday morning ahead of Stoke, with Chancel Mbemba and Aleksandar Mitrovic confirmed as having returned to training.
The pair were seen on Friday training with the rest of the squad, though it remains to be seen whether either Mitrovic or Mbemba will have made enough progress to be involved as early as Wednesday night.
Newcastle fan website nufc.com report that the two summer signings were back training in the company of other recent inhabitants of the sickbay; Siem de Jong, Paul Dummett, Vurnon Anita and Jack Colback
Meanwhile, reported to be doing lighter training were Tiote, Mbabu, Obertan, Cisse and Haidara.
However, Fabricio Coloccini was nowhere to be seen despite Steve McClaren having claimed the United Captain still had a chance of making the Stoke game, despite the calf injury picked up at La Manga.
As reported by nufc.com:
‘Chancel Mbemba, Jack Colback, Vurnon Anita, Paul Dummett, Siem de Jong and Aleksandar Mitrovic all participated in Friday’s training session.
Present but less involved at Darsley Park were Cheick Tiote, Papiss Cisse, Kevin Mbabu, Gabriel Obertan and Massadio Haidara.
That leaves just Tim Krul and perma-crock Curtis Good on the sick list, although there was no sighting of calf strain victim Fabricio Coloccini at training.’
There could be some difficult decisions ahead for Steve McClaren as with games running out to win survival for the club, the temptation will be there to throw players in before they are really ready – something which Newcastle suffered from a number of times under Alan Pardew, as players broke down after coming back too early.