Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles has hinted that Jonjo Shelvey could be back this weekend.
The Magpies take on Burnley at St James’ Park, and desperately need a result after a barren run.
Newcastle’s woeful form has coincided with Shelvey’s absence, with the midfielder not playing since the last-gasp win over Chelsea.
He was on the bench three days later at Everton, but didn’t feature.
And in an interview with NUFCTV, Lascelles has provided an update on his teammate’s fitness.
“We’re getting a few lads back from injury which is important obviously,” he told the club’s official website.
“Hopefully Jonjo’s [Shelvey] fit.
“We’ve made a few changes. Lads have had to adapt to different styles of play which might take a little while to bed in. So hopefully two games is enough and we can get a win.”
Newcastle lack a lot of quality in the middle of the park when Shelvey doesn’t play.
While some question his work ethic and inconsistency, his ability can’t be denied. There’s no player in this Newcastle squad who can do what Shelvey can.
The 28-year-old has the vision to unlock defences, something we seem incapable of doing.
And with Dwight Gayle likely to play as well, the duo that dominated the Championship could give Newcastle a lift in the Premier League on Saturday.
If Shelvey is fit, he has to play.