Andy Carroll has had more minutes on the pitch with each passing game since he made his Newcastle return against Brighton, and it is not impossible that he could start at Chelsea next week.
It would be a tremendous effort to get him ready for a start in October, after a previous report in the Telegraph last month claimed he would not be able to start a game before the turn of the year.
With Joelinton still trying to find his way in English football, Carroll could come in for the Brazilian if he’s fit enough.
A rest from starting duties would not necessarily be a bad thing for the £40 million forward, who could be a big threat coming off the bench at Stamford Bridge.
Of course, everyone is aware of the threat a fully fit Andy Carroll brings to the side, and if he is given the nod, it would be a huge boost to get an hour, or 70 minutes out of the Gateshead-born striker.
Carroll has looked in decent form during his comeback
He looked lively when he came on against Manchester United, and having played 34 minutes last weekend, the next natural progression would be to start him, and see how long he can last.
During his rehabilitation he has built up his playing time. It started with a tentative eight minutes against Brighton, and was followed by 27 minutes in the Leicester thrashing.
If he is under consideration for a starting berth, it is unlikely it would be to play alongside Joelinton, with another defensive display likely against Frank Lampard’s in-form Chelsea.
But certainly having Carroll in the side from the outset should be considered by Bruce, and like Matty Longstaff against Manchester United, it may turn out to be an inspired decision.