TIM Krul is close to making his comeback from injury for Newcastle United.
The goalkeeper has been sidelined since April, when he dislocated his shoulder in the Tyne-Wear derby.
Krul - who had surgery on the injury - is near the end of his rehabilitation programme.
He was put through an intensive training programme on the club’s pre-season tour of Portugal.
And the 25-year-old is on course to play in a couple of Newcastle’s friendlies - the club play Rangers and Braga next month - though he won’t be ready for tonight’s game at St Mirren.
United manager Alan Pardew’s confident he will be fully fit in time to face Manchester City on August 19.
“Tim’s had a tough week,” Pardew told SportMail.
“He’s come through that, and we’ll have to see where he is. But I’ve got no worries about him at all.”
Rob Elliot - who deputised for Krul during his absence through injury last season - has played in all of Newcastle five warm-up games.
Young goalkeeper Jak Alnwick - who signed a new contract in the summer - played 45 minutes against Rio Ave in Portugal.