Fabricio Coloccini back at Newcastle United and set to play against Aston Villa

BACK HOME ... Newcastle's Fabricio Coloccini, right, with Papiss Demba Cisse.
BACK HOME ... Newcastle's Fabricio Coloccini, right, with Papiss Demba Cisse.

CAPTAIN Fabricio Coloccini is back on Tyneside – and closing in on his Newcastle United comeback.

The defender reported back to the club’s training ground yesterday.

Coloccini is understood to have returned to his native Argentina while he recovered from the knee injury he suffered in the New Year’s Day defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

But the 32-year-old is now ready to step up his rehabilitation.

United manager Alan Pardew is hopeful Coloccini will be fit for the visit of Aston Villa to St James’s Park on February 23.

“I think he’ll be available for the Villa game,” said Pardew. “We have a 90-minute game, and a week’s training, to get through before then.

“He’s missed the last three derbies which we’ve lost, which is significant in my opinion.

“It’s not just his ability but everything about him. We’ve missed his nonchalance and the security he gives us and that calmness.”