Stoke City v Newcastle: Aleksandar Mitrovic back in training to boost Magpies
Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren hopes to have a number of players back from injury for Wednesday night’s game.
Relegation-threatened Newcastle go into the game in desperate need of at least a point ahead of Saturday’s must-win home game against Bournemouth.
And the return of a clutch of key players will give McClaren a welcome selection headache.
Striker Mitrovic – who missed United’s training camp in Spain earlier this month with knee ligament damage – is set to return to training ahead of Wednesday night’s game.
But captain Fabricio Coloccini is doubtful for the fixture with the calf problem which saw him also miss the club’s trip to La Manga.
And Coloccini’s defensive colleague Chancel Mbemba (ankle) is yet to return to full training.
McClaren, however, will have defender Paul Dummett and midfielder Vurnon Anita back from hamstring injuries for the Stoke match.
Dummett was forced off against Everton earlier this month, while Anita hasn’t played in more than two months.
Striker Papiss Cisse is also close to a return the groin problem which has sidelined him since mid-December and could train with his team-mates head of the fixture.
And forward Siem de Jong is available after recovering from the freak eye injury he suffered in training last month.
Newcastle remain 18th in the Premier League – and level on points with Norwich City above them – after the weekend’s games.
The club, beaten 5-1 by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier this month, was left with an 18-day gap between fixtures after Manchester City reached yesterday’s Capital One Cup final.