JOEY Barton will be back in the Newcastle United line-up at Stoke City.
And Alan Pardew’s confident Stephen Ireland will make his debut at the Britannia Stadium a week on Saturday.
But Pardew admits Jose Enrique’s participation is in doubt after the left-back limped out of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Everton at St James’s Park.
And Jonas Gutierrez is also a doubt after suffering a knock in the game.
Enrique has had several long spells out with hamstring problems in the past, and Pardew’s staff will assess the problem this week.
“Ireland trained Thursday, and looked like he was going to be OK, and then got the thigh injury which kept him out of training on Friday,” Pardew said.
“Joey actually trained Friday thinking that he’d be OK, but again didn’t feel quite right.
“I don’t think there’ll be a problem for Joey and Stephen against Stoke.
“We’ll wait and see with Jose. He’s a key player for us, and that injury affected us more than any other one.”
Barton and Ireland won’t be involved in Wednesday night’s reserve game against Arsenal at St James’s Park.