Papiss Cisse is set to hand beleaguered Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren a major boost by returning from injury.
The striker has missed the last 10 games with a groin injury picked up in the match against Aston Villa on December 19.
The 30-year-old, however, is closing in on a return to action and could even be in the frame for the Magpies’ next game against Stoke City on March 2.
It would provide McClaren with a much-needed lift after he saw his side thumped 5-1 at Chelsea on Saturday to drop back into the Premier League relegation zone.
Cisse said: “The past two months have been frustrating.
“Now I’m back to Newcastle to resume training (and) I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.
“I feel fit, sharp and very focused.
“I can’t wait to get back playing again as quickly as possible. I’m in good shape.”
Cisse has scored twice in eight games this season, and his return will give McClaren extra attacking options with Aleksandar Mitrovic still inconsistent up front, Emmanuel Riviere yet to feature this season after injury, and deadline day loan signing Seydou Doumbia looking off the pace.
Gini Wijnaldum remains Newcastle’s top scorer this season with nine goals, while Mitrovic has five and Ayoze Perez four.
Only Aston Villa, Swansea and West Brom have scored fewer goals than United in the Premier League this season.