Danny Guthrie has handed Newcastle a massive boost in their scrap against relegation by announcing he is ready to be considered for selection against Chelsea on Saturday.
The midfielder has not featured for the Magpies since the 3-0 defeat at fellow strugglers Blackburn in mid-January due to a hamstring injury.
But Guthrie scored for Newcastle's reserve side against Manchester United on Monday and he is now hoping to be involved for the first team when Chelsea visit the North East at the weekend.
The St James' Park outfit are involved in a fight for survival in the Premier League as they currently occupy a spot in the bottom three, however, Guthrie - who will need to oust Nicky Butt or Kevin Nolan - is prepared for the battle.
He told the Newcastle Chronicle: "It's been a long and tough two months, but it was good to be back and get 90 minutes under my belt.
"Hopefully, I will now be involved at the weekend against Chelsea and play a part."
And Guthrie hopes he did enough to catch the eye of caretaker manager Chris Hughton in his second-string outing against United.
He added: "It's a bit different playing in the Premier League, so I'll have to ease my way back in, but it was good to get back, and I have a couple of days to recover and train for the weekend.
"Hopefully, I impressed enough to get back in the squad. That's all I can do.
"I've got to keep training as hard as I can, and pick up the fitness as I go along.
"It's been a tough couple of months for me and for the team, but I think the more bodies we've got, the better for the club."