Jack Colback is pushing to make an early comeback for Newcastle United – but Steve McClaren won’t take any risks with the midfielder.
Colback suffered a knee injury in last months Wear-Tyne derby.
He’s progressing very well – he’s itching to get back and train next week – but we’ll have to hold him back a little bit.Steve McClaren
And it was feared the problem would sidelined him until mid-December.
But the 26-year-old – who did not need surgery – is already close to a return to training.
“Colback is getting closer to rejoining us on the training field,” said McClaren. “He’s progressing very well – he’s itching to get back and train next week – but we’ll have to hold him back a little bit.”
The club’s internationals returned from the latest round of fixtures unscathed, though Moussa Sissoko was understandably “shaken” by events in Paris eight days ago.
Sissoko was a substitute for France against Germany at the Stade de France, which came under attack from terrorists.
“It shook him,” said McClaren. “We’ve spoken to him and consulted him on what’s happening tomorrow. He’s been fine, and he’s in the right frame of mind to play.”
A total of 130 people died in Paris, and many more remain in hospital.
La Marseillaise, the French national anthem, will be played before kick-off in a show of “solidarity” with the French people.
“What happened over the weekend is unique and should bring everybody together, because it’s a world issue,” said McClaren.
Meanwhile, Karl Darlow is back in training after recovering from a long-term ankle problem, but the goalkeeper won’t be involved against Leicester.
Instead, Darlow will make his comeback in Monday afternoon’s Under-21 Premier League game against West Bromwich Albion.
Massadio Haidara (groin) is also back in training.
But there was less positive news on Gabriel Obertan, who has been sidelined since late September.
Obertan is battling to play again for Newcastle after undergoing an operation on his hamstring.
McClaren said: “Obertan’s had an operation on his hamstring in France. He’ll be out for about three or four months.
“We’re disappointed for him. He was getting an opportunity. It’s a bad injury.
Obertan has been hit by a series of injuries over the past three years.
The 26-year-old – who joined from Manchester United in the summer of 2011 – is out of contract at St James’s Park next summer.