Newcastle loan star Islam Slimani has been on the treatment table since his arrival at St. James' Park from Leicester City in January.
The 29-year-old Algerian did travel with the rest of the Newcastle squad to a warm weather training camp in Spain but sat out of a friendly against Belgian First Division A side Royal Antwerp.
However, in spite of Slimani's absence throughout recent weeks, Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez believes the striker will play some part in Algeria's games against Tanzania and Iran ahead of a return to Premier League action against Huddersfield Town on March 31.
“He has the program,” Benitez explained, as quoted by the Shields Gazette. “Our doctor is in contact with their doctor. He will be there and he will see how he feels.
“Depending on that, he will play or he will not play. He’s quite positive.”
“He’s desperate to play. We will see how many minutes, if he can play. If everything is fine, he will be the one with the doctors there who will say he’s OK.”
“Islam’s progressing with our medical staff, and we’re talking with the medical staff of his national team, so it makes sense,” said Benitez. “Hopefully, he will progress in the days ahead.
“It’s not ideal, but we can’t stop them or stop him playing [for Algeria]. At the same time, we want him to play to be sure he is a little bit better if he has to play against Huddersfield.”
Newcastle United face off against Huddersfield Town following the international break with a win for the Magpies potentially proving pivotal in their bid for Premier League survival