NEWCASTLE United Steven Taylor won’t be fit in time to face Liverpool – but the defender could be back for the Wear-Tyne derby.
Taylor has recovered from the hamstring problem which has sidelined him for the past four weeks.
But the 27-year-old – who has played just 45 minutes of football this season – is yet to resume full training.
Taylor is pencilled in to rejoin his team-mates on the practice field on Monday.
And the former England Under-21 international has a chance of making manager Alan Pardew’s squad for the game against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on October 27.
“Steven won’t be available,” Pardew told the Gazette.
“He’s not even close to being included – he’s not kicked a ball for four weeks.
“We think he will train on Monday. He is pretty close.”
Pardew is keen to have Taylor back in his squad, with captain Fabricio Coloccini sidelined with a groin problem.
Coloccini’s problem, suffered while on international duty with Argentina, is still being assessed, and no timescale has been put on his comeback.
However, Taylor won’t be rushed back given his injury record.
“Steven’s injury record isn’t great, so we must make sure he is right when he comes back in,” said Pardew.
“Hopefully, he’ll be all right from Monday.”
Taylor started the campaign alongside Coloccini in the heart of Pardew’s defence.
But he was dismissed in first-half injury time in the season-opening defeat after catching Sergio Aguero in the club’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester City.
After serving a three-game ban for the red card, he suffered a hamstring problem in training.
Meanwhile, Jonas Gutierrez won’t be involved against Liverpool.
Pardew said the winger is in his native Argentina because of a “personal issue”.
Otherwise, Pardew has no fresh injury problems.
All the club’s other international players returned to Tyneside reporting no ill-effects.