Mikel Merino returns to Tyneside to step up his Newcastle comeback
Newcastle United's Mikel Merino is due back on Tyneside today '“ after taking his first steps back on the training field in Spain.
Merino has missed the club's last two games, both 1-0 defeats, with a back problem.
And a report in Spain earlier this month claimed that the midfielder could be sidelined for up to eight weeks.
However, speaking last week, United manager Rafa Benitez simply said Merino, signed on a permanent deal from Borussia Dortmund last month, would be out for "at least two weeks".
"Next week it will be more clear how long he is out for, but a couple of weeks at least for Merino," said Benitez.
Benitez will give an injury update on Merino at a press conference this afternoon ahead of tomorrow's Premier League game against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
A video posted on Twitter by @CarruselNavarra yesterday showed Merino doing some light ball work at former club Osasuna.
It claimed that the 21-year-old would return to Newcastle today to continue his rehabilitation.