Daryl Janmaat is set to give Rafa Benitez a welcome injury lift in the wake of Rob Elliot’s season-ending injury.
The Newcastle United defender was forced off in the Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland last month with a knee injury.
And Janmaat had to withdraw from Holland’s squad for the friendlies against England and France.
But the right-back is expected to be fit for tomorrow’s game against Norwich City at Carrow Road, though the game is likely to come too early for captain Fabricio Coloccini, who has been sidelined since mid-February with a calf problem.
Relegation-threatened Newcastle desperately need to win at Carrow Road.
Three points would take Benitez’s second-bottom side level with 17th-placed Norwich, beaten 6-2 at St James’s Park earlier this season.
But the loss of goalkeeper Elliot, outstanding in the absence of injured No 1 Tim Krul this season, is a significant blow to Benitez, who will field Karl Darlow in goal.
Elliot suffered ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee playing for the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday night.
Benitez also has a problem at left-back with Paul Dummett sidelined with a hamstring problem and Jack Colback – who deputised for him – suspended.
Meanwhile, full-back Kevin Mbabu – who hasn’t featured since January – is close to a return from