Newcastle will be breathing a sigh of relief with the news that Joey Barton is returning to the squad after suffering a thigh strain.
"Joey has trained and is feeling better," manager Alan Pardew told reporters.
"Any team would miss his quality, I won't disguise that.
"Our injury issue is not behind us, but it has eased a little bit. We think Joey has a good chance, he took part in the warm-up today."
Pardew believes the week off has contributed to Barton’s recovery, as well as other players on the Toon's injury list coming closer to a return.
"It's been a productive two weeks in terms of people have got some rest," he said.
"Jose Enrique looks very doubtful, Jonas (Gutierrez) did the warm-up but also looks a bit doubtful. Nile Ranger is fine, so we are okay."
Newcastle currently sit mid-table, but are not assured of staying in the top flight just yet. They are only six points clear of the drop zone, and they need to take as many points as possible from their final eight games of the season.
The importance of beating Stoke at the weekend is not lost on Pardew, who will no doubt be pleased to be including Barton in the squad.
"We are looking forward to the game. When you have two weeks off in Premier League it can be difficult to focus.
"So we are trying to make sure the players are ready for what will be a tough, tough game."