Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye is facing a battle to be fit for his side's trip to Norwich City on Saturday.
Cabaye, 26, has missed almost two months after undergoing surgery to a groin injury in November.
With Newcastle only two points above the relegation zone, manager Alan Pardew is eager to see Cabaye return, but admitted it would be foolish to rush him back.
"We cannot bring [players] back, play them for one game and then they are out for five," he told the Evening Chronicle.
"It is better if they come back and stay fit. "We are on a knife-edge now, with form and everything else."
Pardew, who will be without the suspended Shola Ameobi, said new signing Mathieu Debuchy would be in his line-up at Carrow Road, with three first team players also likely to be welcomed back.
"Debuchy comes into the team and we will look like we have a much stronger team than at the weekend [at Brighton in the FA Cup]," Pardew added.
"But hopefully, Jonas [Gutierrez] will be back and Colo [Fabricio Coloccini] and Papiss [Cisse]. They should train on Thursday, with a bit of luck."
Meanwhile, Lucas Biglia is the latest name to be linked with a potential move to Tyneside.
Argentina international midfielder Biglia, out of favour at his current club Anderlecht, would cost around €8 million.
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