FABRICIO Coloccini has already had an impact at Newcastle United since his return to Tyneside – despite being restricted to the treatment room.
Coloccini returned to England this week after a spell recuperating from a back injury in his native Argentina.
There were fears the club’s captain had kicked his last ball for the club when he headed to South America earlier this month.
The 31-year-old asked to leave in January because of what were described at the time as “personal matters”.
Coloccini stayed on until at least the summer after talks with United manager Alan Pardew and the club’s hierarchy.
And Pardew – who hopes the defender will be available in the middle of next month – says Coloccini’s already been a positive influence behind the scenes at Newcastle’s training ground since his return.
“He still feels a bit uncomfortable, so we think he’s two or three weeks away,” Pardew told SportMail.
“It’s just nice to have him in and around the building with the experience and everything else he brings.”
United’s season has been blighted by a series of injuries to key personnel – but Pardew wasn’t looking for excuses ahead of this afternoon’s visit to Manchester City.
“We’ve had one of those seasons when things haven’t gone our way – we’ve had a lot of bad news,” said Pardew.
“When you think, we’ve got no Tim Krul, no Cheik (Tiote) and three of our full-backs out.
“We’ve still had one of those seasons. It would be nice to have everybody fit for this game, but we haven’t.
“It’s going to be like that. What we’ve got to do is make sure we get results.”