ROLANDO Aarons is closing in on his Newcastle United comeback – but the Wear-Tyne derby is set to come too soon for him.
Aarons returned to training this week after a five-month spell on the sidelines.
And there were hopes on Tyneside that the winger could make the squad for Sunday’s visit to the Stadium of Light.
But United, mindful of his lengthy absence, won’t take any chances with Aarons’s fitness, especially in a high-octane derby fixture against Sunderland.
And pacy Aarons – who has been sidelined with hamstring and thigh problems – is more likely to make his comeback later this month once he is fully up to speed.
The Sunderland game is followed by Premier League fixtures against Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea City.
Aarons made an explosive start to his first-team career at Newcastle earlier in the season before succumbing to injury.
The England Under-20 international forced his way into then-manager Alan Pardew’s plans after impressing in pre-season, and Carver is keen to have him available sooner rather than later.
But Aarons – who turned down a new deal at United late last year – won’t be risked before he is ready.
However, Carver – who has erred on the side of caution with players returning from injury since succeeding Pardew – is likely to name fit-again Mehdi Abeid in his squad for the Sunderland game.
The midfielder – who missed the club’s last two matches with a thigh problem – returned to training this week, and is a contender to start in midfield.
Carver will address the media tomorrow at St James’s Park, where his players will train, ahead of the derby.
United are 12th in the league table, a point behind Pardew’s Crystal Palace.