Newcastle could get Salomon Rondon fitness boost
Newcastle United striker Salomon Rondon is pushing to be fit to face Brighton and Hove Albion at St James's Park.
The forward is sidelined with the thigh injury suffered against Crystal Palace late last month.
Rafa Benitez last month said he was hopeful Rondon would be available within weeks.
And the 29-year-old, signed on a season-long loan from West Bromwich Albion in August, has posted a video of himself working in the gym during the international break.
Rondon tweeted: “Time out ... but I never stop!”
Newcastle take on Brighton on October 20, and the club’s medical staff will continue to assess him.
Speaking last month, United manager Benitez said: “The idea is to see how he is going on after every week.
“He’s injured, and now we need to manage with the rest of the players.”
In the absence of Rondon, Benitez has tried both Joselu and Muto up front.
Muto, signed from Mainz in the summer, scored against Manchester United at Old Trafford at the weekend after being handed his full Premier League debut.
Joselu was fielded in the previous game against Leicester City, which United lost 2-0.
Meanwhile, Newcastle coach Ben Dawson hailed his Under-21 side after they beat Notts County 2-0 last night.
Callum Roberts and Elias Sorensen were on target for Dawson’s side at Meadow Lane.
Roberts opened the scoring with an early penalty and goalkeeper Nathan Harker made a series of saves before Sorensen netted a second goal early in the second half.
Dawson said: “I thought they were terrific. Every man – the starting XI and the subs that came on – made a big impact.
“Probably the most pleasing thing was the clean sheet. We haven’t had one for a while.
“We managed the game really well, scored early, which always helps. It was a case of letting them come on to us a little bit in the second half and get some chances on the break.”
Newcastle need to avoid defeat in their final group game away to Grimsby Town next month to be certain of a place in the knockout stages of the competition, where they could conceivably face Sunderland's first team after they beat Carlisle United 3-1 last night.