Fabricio Coloccini is pushing to make his Newcastle United comeback against Southampton – and Paul Dummett is not far behind him.
Coloccini has been sidelined since February with a calf problem.
But the relegation-threatened club’s captain is back in training ahead of Saturday’s visit to St Mary’s Stadium.
And Dummett – who suffered a hamstring injury a month ago – is also back on the practice field, though the Southampton match is likely to come too soon for him.
United manager Rafa Benitez – whose side is second-bottom in the Premier League with seven games left to play – will check on Coloccini over the next two days before finalising his squad for the trip to the south coast.
Speaking after last weekend’s 3-2 defeat to Norwich City, he said: “We’ll see how he feels, and then we’ll decide.
“But the good thing is that if they are coming back then at least we have that competition and that can only be good for the team.”
Benitez did not have a recognised left-back at Carrow Road, with Dummett and Massadio Haidara (knee) sidelined.
Midfielder Jack Colback, able to deputise for them, was suspended.
Colback will serve the second-match of his two-game ban, for picking up 10 yellow cards, at St Mary’s.
The Southampton game is likely to come too soon for Dummett, and the Wales international could instead make his comeback against Swansea City at St James’s Park next Saturday, April 16.
And Benitez will have to decide whether Vurnon Anita or Moussa Sissoko should play as a makeshift left-back.