Newcastle United striker Salomon Rondon is a huge doubt for his side's important clash with Southampton this weekend, as he continues his recovery from injury.
Rondon arrived at the club on loan during the summer, with Rafa Benitez aiming to make the Venezuelan his new first-choice striker. However, he is yet to net in the Premier League for his new team and has been sidelined with a thigh injury in recent weeks.
The Chronicle report that Rondon has featured briefly in some lighter training sessions, but a decision will not be made on his fitness until the end of the week as Benitez seeks to give Rondon as much time as possible to recover.
The Magpies have fallen to bottom of the Premier League, having failed thus far to find their first win of the new season. They have netted just six goals all season, with their 1-0 loss to Brighton highlighting their lack of quality in front of goal.
However, Benitez is not prepared to rush Rondon back into action and risk aggravating the injury, meaning one of Joselu or Yoshinori Muto will likely be named in the Venezuelan's place. The club initially believed Rondon would not recover until November, but Benitez is keen to give him the chance to prove his fitness.
When asked about Rondon's condition, Benitez said: "He's getting better but he has been out and away for a little while, so we will have to see.
"I don't think that we can expect just one player to make a big difference. The team has to create like we did [against Brighton], to have the same control, to be more clinical - and then if you have Rondon you will have more competition up front, and then maybe he can help.
"We need the rest of the team - all of the team - to try and do their best in every game."
The upcoming match with Southampton will certainly be crucial for Newcastle, who will be desperate to finally find that elusive first victory of the season.