Newcastle United handed shock injury boost as key player returns to training ahead of Aston Villa game

Newcastle United have been handed a major injury boost ahead of facing in-form Aston Villa this weekend.

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Newcastle United top scorer Miguel Almiron has returned to first-team training ahead of Saturday’s Premier League visit to Aston Villa (kick-off 12:30pm).

The 29-year-old hasn’t featured since scoring the winner in the 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers last month after sustaining a thigh injury in training.

It forced the Paraguayan to miss the 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest and the trip to Dubai during the recent international break. Almiron remained on Tyneside and began his recovery at the club’s Benton training base.

Jacob Murphy has stepped up in Almiron’s absence as Newcastle further underlined their Champions League credentials by beating Manchester United, West Ham United and Brentford.

However, Almiron’s return will still come as a major boost to the Magpies. And as per Sky Sports News, the forward, who has netted 11 goals this campaign, could come back in contention this weekend after returning to full training on Wednesday morning.

Howe previously downplayed hopes that Almiron would be back ahead of schedule, so his imminent return will come as a surprise to many

“I don’t see that changing,” said Howe. “I’d love it to. I’d love him to beat the timescale given, but I just don’t see it currently.

“He’s making really good progress. I think he’s pain-free. I don’t think there’s any long-term issues. I think it’s just a case of that’s the time it will take for the muscle to fully heal. I think we’re four weeks off (a comeback), maybe slightly less. But yeah, he’s making really good progress.”

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