ROLANDO Aarons is in line for a place on the bench in the Wear-Tyne derby after returning to first-team training today.
The Newcastle United winger has been missing for almost five months with a series of injuries.
But he was set to begin full training at Benton with the rest of the Newcastle squad as he targets a spot in the squad for the Sunderland clash on Sunday.
The 20-year-old took to Twitter to reveal his delight at his progress, tweeting: “Training on Monday” along with a picture of himself smiling.
It would be a huge boost for Toon head coach John Carver, who has seen his squad depleted by injury.
The return of Aarons, and midfielder Mehdi Abeid, will bolster his ranks as Newcastle look to end a run of four successive derby defeats.
Carver would be delighted to be able to call on the youngster’s pace and trickery from the bench at the Stadium of Light.
Carver said last week: “Possibly Abeid could be back.
“Aarons is pushing on and he’s quite close to being added to the group. But other than those two, nobody else.”
Aarons – who burst on to the Premier League scene this season – hasn’t played since coming on as a substitue against Liverpool back in November.
A succession of hamstring strains and a thigh problem have consigned him to the treatment table and he has only played five games this campaign, and has yet to start a Premier League match.
However, Carver would be delighted to be able to call on the youngster’s pace and trickery from the bench at the Stadium of Light.
Aarons, meanwhile, was linked with a move to Arsenal over the weekend.
He has still got 12 months left on his contract at Newcastle, but so far talks over a new deal have stalled.