Steve Bruce has been handed a huge injury boost as Toon stopper Martin Dubravka has been pictured taking part in full training for the first time this season.
The Slovakian international had to undergo foot surgery in the summer, however that wound became infected – seeing him miss our start to the 2021/22 season.
Our number one jersey has been shared by both Freddie Woodman and Karl Darlow during his absence, with the latter replacing the former against Leeds following two errors away at Man Utd.
Here’s a few photos of him back in action on Tuesday morning, suggesting he might be back in contention for this weekend’s crucial trip to Watford:
Dubravka has been a revelation since his £4million move from Sparta Prague in 2018; he has played over 100 games for us and was arguably Rafa Benitez’s best bit of transfer business during the Spaniard’s tenure.
However, he has faced lengthy spells on the sidelines at the start of the previous two seasons and our goalkeeping crisis has been plunged into turmoil even further with news of his potential return.
Why was Woodman – who spent the last two years on loan at Swansea – not loaned out again? After all, his immediate future now likely to be spent watching the action from the sidelines.
Darlow could have possibly been sold with Woodman and Mark Gillespie vying for number two. This would have freed up space for another player in the squad, something we didn’t have room for according to Bruce.