Newcastle United goalkeeping coach Simon Smith has given a progress report on Rob Elliot.

Elliot last played for Newcastle in the 1-1 draw with Sunderland at St James Park back in March.

The United keeper then went away on international duty and only a quarter of an hour into a match for Ireland v Slovakia, he picked up the serious injury that ensured he missed Newcastle’s relegation run-in and the Euros in France.

Simon Smith says that Rob Elliot trained twice with him last week and was even diving!

The coach saying that this month he is looking to step up the training to three times a week for the Irish international.

So it still looks some way off as to when Rob Elliot will be back competing for a place with Karl Darlow and Matz Sels, with Darlow now having stepped in for the last two Championship matches.

Despite being out injured, Rafa Benitez recently showed his faith in Rob Elliot by handing him a new long-term contract.

As for another long-term injury, Simon Smith says that Tim Krul is now set to start playing in matches this month in Holland, though no doubt he will be getting some games for the reserves who play in the second tier of Dutch football, before he is considered for the first team.

Simon Smith:

“Newcastle United Goalkeeping update: Rob Elliot trained with me twice last week; now diving!

“Hope to step it up to three goalkeeping sessions in the coming weeks.

“Tim Krul is hoping to play his first game in the next week or so. Good luck and hope all goes well.

“Matz Sels is with Belgium, Fred Woodman is  with England U21’s. Great and pleased for both.

“Karl Darlow and Paul Woolston are stuck with me for 10 days!”