Newcastle still have a number of players absent for this weekend’s trip to Liverpool with long-term injuries, but one player set to hand Steve Bruce a boost is DeAndre Yedlin.
The American returned to training at the end of last month, and could be in the frame for the game against the league leaders on Saturday lunchtime, according to the Physio Room website.
But Yedlin will have to overcome more than just his injury to get back into the side this season.
Having been the number one choice at right-back since he arrived at the club, he will find that he has genuine competition for his place this campaign.
The signing of Emil Krafth, and the slight resurgence in form of Javier Manquillo, means that it is no longer a foregone conclusin that a fit Yedlin will walk back into the team.
Krafth is taking his time to get to grips with the Premier League, and what he appears to lack in attacking prowess, he seems to make up for with his defensive abilities.
Manquillo has looked in better form when he has made it onto the pitch, so far this season, but there is always a sense that he is only a mistake away from a poor run.
Competition at right back will help Newcastle
It will be interesting to see what Steve Bruce does with the position in the next few weeks.
It would be a surprise to see him throw Yedlin in at the deep end at Liverpool, and Krafth is likely to be the starter in another lineup focused on defending.
But when the emphasis is on Newcastle taking games to an opponent, Yedlin’s pace and offensive threat could be seen as an asset.
It could be that Bruce rotates the pair of them depending on the opposition, with neither of them being an out-and-out first choice.
With Yedlin having been too sure of his place in the past, regardless of how he performed, it is this type of competition that can hopefully bring the best out of him, and that can only be a good thing for Newcastle.