Newcastle United head coach John Carver has suggested on the club’s official website that Siem de Jong could feature against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League this weekend.
The Netherlands international attacker has been sidelined with injury for the past eight months, but there is a chance that he could return to first-team action at St. James’ Park on Sunday.
Although Carver is not willing to take any risks on the 26-year-old, he has hinted that if passed fit, De Jong, who trained with his teammates on Friday (as pictured above and to the right), will be part of the substitutes’ bench.
“We will assess him and see if he can get on the bench for Spurs,” Carver told Newcastle’s official website. “But I'm not going to push that situation. I trust Siem, he's a top player, and if he says he's ready great - if not we'll delay it another week.”
De Jong joined Newcastle from Dutch giants Ajax in the summer of 2014 and was expected to be a big player for the Magpies.
However, a thigh injury during training in September followed by a collapsed lung has prevented the Dutchman from doing so.
The 26-year-old did feature for the Newcastle Under-21 side against their Derby County counterparts this week, completing 45 minutes.
Even if De Jong is fully fit, one suspects that Carver will not want to throw him in at the deep end on Sunday.
However, sitting on the substitutes’ bench and soaking in the feeling of a competitive match will be good for the recovery of the former Ajax star.