Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has handed manager Rafael Benitez a timely boost by returning to training.
The 26-year-old former England international has managed just eight Premier League starts all season because of a niggling thigh problem which has sidelined him since January 5, but was able to take part in some of Wednesday morning’s session at the Magpies’ warm weather training camp in Spain.
A statement on the club’s official website said: “The second day of Newcastle United’s Spanish training camp saw Jonjo Shelvey step up his return from a thigh injury.
“Midfield ace Shelvey joined in with some of Wednesday morning’s session and it is hoped he will continue to edge nearer to a return to action over the next few days – although he won’t be involved in Saturday’s friendly against CSKA Moscow.”
Shelvey – who was tipped by Benitez to become the 2019 answer to Paul Gascoigne for Newcastle – was joined on the training pitch by full-back Paul Dummett, who has missed the last eight games with a recurring hamstring injury.
Asked how frustrating his lay-off has been, Dummett told NUFC TV: “Very frustrating because as a football player, you want to be playing matches and being on the sidelines watching the players train and not being able to do it is so frustrating, especially a few times this season with the same injury.
“I’m hoping to do everything I can to try to put it behind me and stay fit as long as I can.”
Get the latest personalised Magpies products on our new TEAMtalk Newcastle shop!