Glenn Roeder is hopeful Turkish midfielder Emre will be back to boost Newcastle's bid for glory in Europe.
Emre has not featured for The Magpies since damaging a calf at the start of January.
His injury has taken some time to respond to treatment, but he has been training freely in recent days and Roeder has pencilled in a return date against AZ Alkmaar in the Uefa Cup.
"Emre's calf injury has gone on too long," Roeder told the Evening Chronicle. "We need a fit Emre on the football pitch - and that's what I am expecting to get.
"Saturday's game with Middlesbrough will come too early for him, but I expect he will be in contention for our game with Alkmaar next Thursday.
"I have watched him in training in the past couple of days and he is running and working hard, and it will be good to have him back."
Kieron Dyer is set to feature against Middlesbrough after shrugging off the bout of flu which forced him to miss the loss at Wigan.