NEWCASTLE United are sweating on the fitness of Paul Dummett ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game against Hull City.
The defender came off against Southampton at St James’s Park earlier this month with a minor hamstring problem.
And the 23-year-old is a doubt for the Magpies’ visit to the KC Stadium, John Carver’s first match since being appointed head coach until the end of the season.
Dummett played at centre-half against Southampton ahead of Mike Williamson, who will return to the starting XI if the Wales international fails to prove his fitness in time for the televised lunchtime kick-off.
With Steven Taylor out for the season after rupturing his Achilles tendon, Carver is short of senior central defenders, though he does have Academy graduates Remie Streete and Lubomir Satka as cover.
However, Carver has been given positive news on forward Siem de Jong, sidelined since early September.
The 25-year-old Dutchman – signed from Ajax in the summer – came through a behind-closed-doors game against League Two club Carlisle United on Tuesday with no problems, and is close to a first-team return.
Midfielder Mehdi Abeid, an unused substitute against Southampton, has fully recovered from the broken toe which saw him miss Algeria’s African Cup of Nations campaign.
Abeid also played against Carlisle, as did fit-again winger Gabriel Obertan, who has been out since early November.
Meanwhile, Carver could also have striker Papiss Cisse available.
Cisse is due back on Tyneside after Senegal’s elimination from the African Cup of Nations on Tuesday.