Shola Ameobi is ready to hand Newcastle an end of season fillip by returning to Glenn Roeder's first team on Monday.
The Nigerian-born striker has been sidelined since November, when he finally relented to a long-term hip injury in going under the surgeon's knife.
His recuperation has been excellent ever since and he is currently 12 weeks ahead of schedule as he pencils in a return against Reading.
Ameobi completed 70 minutes of a reserve team game on Tuesday night and while he admits to a little ring-rust, it was none the less a relief to get back on the pitch.
"It felt good to come through 70 minutes last night and now Reading is definitely in my sights," he told the Evening Chronicle.
"It wasn't the greatest game last night, but like I said last week, I feared for my career, so this is a big bonus for me.
"I am just glad to be out there and getting the chance to work my way back to the first team."
Newcastle's trip to Reading has precious little riding on it in terms of how their season will pan out, but in terms of planning for next year, Roeder will be a keen observer of how events unfold in Berkshire.
It has been speculated that Ameobi will not be the only striker returning to the fold, with Michael Owen also mooted for a possible appearance - most likely from the bench.