Newcastle United hope to have Allan Saint-Maximin available to face Brentford next Saturday.
The Frenchman was close to being involved against Fulham after training on Friday but Eddie Howe decided against risking the player.
Saint-Maximin has missed the Magpies’ previous four Premier League games but is pushing for a return ahead of the visit of Brentford to St James’ Park.
Howe drops Saint-Maximin hint
“Yeah, hopefully,” Howe said when asked if the 25-year-old would return next weekend.
“It’s always difficult to give a guarantee but he did train with the team yesterday and trained well but for me, it was too early to involve him.
“We need to make sure when he comes back he’s fit enough to do himself and the team justice.
“Hopefully, with a good training week under his belt, he could be close.”
United, without Saint-Maximin, claimed their second win of the 2022-23 campaign following a 4-1 win at Fulham.
The Cottagers were reduced to 10 men on seven minutes after Nathaniel Chalobah’s late challenge on Sean Longstaff.
Longstaff was among the scorers. Miguel Almiron netted a brace while Callum Wilson found the net on his return from a hamstring injury.
Fulham win ‘ pivotal moment’ in Newcastle’s season
“Well I hoped it was coming but nothing is ever guaranteed in football,” Howe said. “Every week you have to give yourself a chance to win and I think we’ve done that.
“We haven’t finished our chances when they’ve been there and we’ve let games slip away from us that were winnable.
“Today was a pivotal moment in our season. I emphasised today how important the game was to the players.
“It can go one or two ways from that point but they responded really well. I’m delighted with the group as a whole.”