Steve Bruce has been handed a triple injury boost ahead of Saturday’s crunch game with Brighton.
Craig Hope of the Daily Mail reports that Andy Carroll has come through two days of first-team training and looks set to be named on the bench as things stand, while Sean Longstaff and Fabian Schar are also expected to return.
Longstaff missed the defeat at Anfield with an ankle injury while Schar limped off during the game with a calf problem, but it is the return of Carroll that is the most intriguing.
The striker saw a specialist in London last week where he was given the green light to step up his training, and Hope claims that he’s now taken part in two days of full contact training without any issues.
It is thought Bruce will delay his decision until 24 hours before the game, but Carroll looks set to take his place on the bench for the first time if he continues to come through training with no reaction this week.
Despite this triple boost, the Brighton game looks set to come too soon for Allan Saint Maximin and Matt Ritchie, while definitive return dates for Florian Lejeune, Dwight Gayle and DeAndre Yedlin aren’t yet clear.
Of course it seems ridiculous to be talking about relegation clashes this early in the season but given our run of fixtures following this game, it’s imperative we take three points on Saturday.