Wed 31 Jan 2024, 18:23 by Ash Harrison

Elliot Anderson reporting for duty - 21-year-old shares positive update via Instagram

Elliot Anderson reporting for duty - 21-year-old shares positive update via Instagram
NurPhoto via Getty Images
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The times they are a-changing, and Newcastle United are starting to get some long-term absentees back to the training pitch.

Granted, it's not all sunshine and rainbows after Alexander Isak hobbled off the pitch in the first half of Newcastle's 3-1 win over Aston Villa last night, but this time, with one man going down, there are potentially three on the way back, which is way better than the one-in-one-out policy that fate had dealt us before.

Callum Wilson should be returning in time to face Luton on Saturday after a five-week absence - impeccable timing really, given the Isak situation.

Players are starting to return to training

Harvey Barnes may also be in line for a return at the weekend too, likely only to be on the bench given how long it has been since he's played, but it's a positive step nonetheless.

Anderson
Elliot Anderson - Instagram
Anderson is on the mend

Also looking to return soon is Elliot Anderson. Eddie Howe had been hinting that Anderson would be much further behind Harvey Barnes, but the 21-year-old midfielder shared an Instagram reel today that will have fans feeling good.

Anderson's reel showed him in full training gear and boots, foot on the ball on the turf. You don't need to be a detective to work out that means he's back in training.

Newcastle are desperate for bodies in midfield right now

Obviously, one photo of some legs (which may not even be his for all we know, but that would be very weird), doesn't give the whole story away. He could just be back on light duties and still a long way off a return to competitive football.

Still, however, you slice it, it's good news. Newcastle are short on numbers in the middle of the park right now, and Bruno Guimaraes is one slip away from a two-game ban which would be devastating, so knowing that we've got Anderson on the road to recovery is massive.

Joe Willock is the next player we need back. Desperately. However, we'd much rather they took their time and came back properly rather than rushing and potentially exacerbating the situation.

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