Alan Pardew is hopeful that Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini could return before the end of the season.
Coloccini has been struggling with a back injury that has seen him out of action since late February, after breaking two bones in his back in the 4-2 win over Southampton. Coloccini has now been absent from the Newcastle defence for 11 consecutive games.
Despite experienced centre-back Yanga-Mbiwa joining the club in January, he and Steven Taylor have not been as solid as Pardew would have wished and the Argentinian has been sorely missed.
Newcastle have been on the fringes of the relegation zone most of the season, and currently lie six points away from the bottom three following a 1-1 draw with West Brom on Saturday.
Newcastle have had an injury-flagged season, with key players like Hatem Ben-Arfa, Sylvain Marveaux Tim Krul and Ryan Taylor all having been missing in recent weeks, and the return of Coloccini will be a welcome boost.
The Newcastle side has struggled to find consistent form in the league this season, but mounted a strong Europa League campaign, only losing to Portuguese side Benfica 4-2 on aggregate in the quarter-finals.
Despite Coloccini's return, the club are yet to resolve the Argentinian's future after he expressed a desire to leave the club in January to return to Argentina to play for San Lorenzo.
Despite the injury problems the club has faced this season, Pardew is sure that the injuries are more down to bad luck than a poor medical team at St James's park.
Pardew told Sky Sports News: "Colo is training. He hasn't done full physical training - that's due to come, hopefully, this week.
"We are fingers crossed because obviously, that would be a big boost for us to have our captain back, for sure."
"We have got a good medical team here. In all seasons there are one or two injuries you could have prevented by holding them back and maybe that's something we could look at.”
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