SIEM de Jong close to getting back to business at Newcastle United – after an economy trip to Dubai.
The forward is nearing a comeback after four and a half months on the sidelines.
And de Jong could be involved against Hull City at the KC Stadium on January 31.
De Jong, signed from Ajax last summer, is training with his team-mates in Dubai this week.
Caretaker head coach John Carver and his players – who chose to fly in economy class as there was not room to accommodate the entire squad in business – return to Tyneside on Thursday.
Carver – who does not know if he will still be in charge for the Hull game – but he is hopeful de Jong, pictured, will be available for the club’s visit to the KC Stadium.
“It was great to get Siem back on the training ground last week,” said Carver.
“That showed around the place, because he’s an experienced player.
“He’s a good player, and he’ll be a good player for this football club. The quicker we get him up and running the better.”
Carver has been short of options up front, with previously-suspended Papiss Demba Cisse having left for the African Cup of Nations early this month.
In his absence, 21-year-old Ayoze Perez has been leading the line.
Carver was frustrated that Newcastle didn’t take their chances in Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Southampton.
De Jong, however, is a player capable of creating – and taking – chances.
“He is one guy in this squad who’s an accomplished finisher,” said Carver.
“If he has one or two of those chances, he’ll put them away.”
Midfielder Remy Cabella, meanwhile, posted a photograph of himself, Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haidara in the economy cabin of the team’s scheduled flight to Dubai.
There was not room in the business cabin to take all of the squad.
So the players and staff opted to travel together in economy.
Carver split his squad into two groups at the Dubai Sports City complex yesterday, with those who played against Southampton having a recovery session while the rest trained in wet and windy conditions.
Defender Mike Williamson said: “It’s a good opportunity to get some more good work inside us.
“Obviously, over the Christmas period we’ve had lots of games and lots of minutes, so then it’s all about recovery.
“But now we’ve got a good opportunity to make sure everyone’s up to speed.”