Alan Shearer is prepared to give Mark Viduka the chance to earn a new contract at Newcastle United, admitting it would be a 'waste' not to use the striker.
Viduka has made just six appearances for the Magpies this season and has struggled with a long-standing Achilles injury.
He was also overlooked by Joe Kinnear, and then Chris Hughton, but the Australian could return to the Newcastle side for Sunday's game against Tottenham Hotspur.
The appointment of Shearer has improved Viduka's situation and the current Magpies boss is keen to call on the 33-year-old's experience.
"It's fair to say Mark probably wouldn't have played again this season if things hadn't changed," said Shearer.
"It would have been a complete waste to just let him lie on the treatment table looking forward to going back to the beaches in Australia.
"That's what his plans were for this summer. He was injured and not in a good condition and probably on his way to Oz.
"It's because talks hadn't happened between him and the club, but he's shown me a great appetite to get us out of trouble.
"I asked Mark, 'Do you want to help play a part in us trying to stay up?' And the answer was definitely 'Yes'."
Viduka's contract expires at the end of the season and Shearer has challenged the former Celtic and Leeds forward to prove he merits a new deal.
He added: "That's something we'd have to look at come the end of the season.
"I've said to Mark, 'Look, we want you fit for the remaining games, then we'll see what happens after that'."