FABRICIO Coloccini has been pencilled in to make his comeback against Liverpool.
Newcastle United’s influential captain has been sidelined since late February with a back injury.
And manager Alan Pardew – whose side are again deep in relegation trouble after Sunday’s Tyne-Wear derby defeat – doesn’t expect the defender to be ready for Saturday’s Premier League game against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
Instead, Coloccini could make his return against Liverpool at St James’s Park on April 27.
“Looking at him (Coloccini), I don’t think he’ll be available until we get to Liverpool, but we’ll see,” Pardew told SportMail.
Coloccini suffered the injury making an overhead clearance in the 4-2 win over Southampton on February 24, and the 31-year-old was allowed to return to his native Argentina last month.
And Coloccini’s return can’t come soon enough for Pardew, who is under intense pressure in the aftermath of the 3-0 defeat to Sunderland, with the result the clubs heaviest derby defeat in 34 years.
In Coloccini’s absence, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has played alongside Steven Taylor in the heart of Pardew’s defence.
However, Yanga-Mbiwa, signed from French champions Montpellier in January, looked jaded in the derby after a gruelling run of fixtures, and struggled against Danny Graham.
The 23-year-old wasn’t the only one to put in a below-par performance against Sunderland and Pardew needs fresh legs – and quickly – given the club’s precarious position.
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