Newcastle defender Paul Dummett is nearing a return to action after a four-month injury layoff, providing Magpies boss Rafael Benitez with a much needed boost.
The 26-year-old pulled up with a hamstring injury after just seven minutes into the opening day of the season against Tottenham, and has found himself in the treatment room ever since.
Without a natural replacement in the first-team squad, Rafael Benitez has utilised fellow defenders Javier Manquillo and Chancel Mbemba in the left full-back role with limited success, as Newcastle have tumbled towards the relegation zone.
The weekend defeat to Chelsea saw winger Matt Ritchie fill in at left-back, but two glaring errors contributed to a 3-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge, Newcastle's sixth league game in a row without victory.
Dummett is now nearing a return, and despite criticism over the past couple of seasons, has spoken previously of his commitment to the cause. "You do get a bit of grief, but I've just got to try and look over that and play the best that I can." he said last season to the Shields Gazette.
"The manager here's picking me, so there is obviously a reason why."
Dummett has been involved in light training over the previous few weeks, and Benitez hopes that the north-east native will be fit to play a part in the weekend fixture against Leicester on Saturday.