Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew says Andy Carroll does have a chance of featuring in the club's next Premier League game against Fulham on February 2, despite suggestions the striker had been ruled out for two months.
Magpies fans awoke to a worrying report which stated the club's top scorer could miss up to seven more games after discovering the thigh injury that has prevented him from playing since December was more serious than first feared.
However, Carroll travelled with his team-mates for a mid-season training camp in Faro and has an outside chance of featuring at Craven Cottage. Defender Steven Taylor will be unavailable due to injury though.
"Andy Carroll will be the closest," Pardew told the Evening Chronicle. "We'll take him on the training camp to Portugal, and hopefully, he'll be in with a chance for Fulham.
"No chance on Steven Taylor for Fulham, and [Cheick] Tiote's still suspended. He'll [Taylor] be ready for Arsenal, when I think Andy will play. It's just a case of whether Andy makes Fulham."
Meanwhile, midfielder Joey Barton says he is very keen to sign a new contract at St James' Park after opening talks with the club. Barton joined Newcastle from Manchester City in the summer of 2007.
"I've started discussions with the club, and everything seems to be going in the right direction," Barton said. "So hopefully we'll get that sorted as soon as possible, and I can just concentrate on doing my utmost for Newcastle United. I want to stay here."