Kevin Keegan has promised to review Peter Ramage's contract once the defender has regained full fitness.
The full-back has been sidelined since damaging his cruciate ligament against Middlesbrough back in August.
Now expected to make his long awaited return to training on Monday, Ramage will have 11 games in which to persuade Keegan that he is deserving of a new deal.
"He's just got to get himself fit, and then we can look at the situation," the Magpies' boss told the Evening Chronicle.
"I think Peter will be back in full training by the end of next week.
"It will be good to have him back. He's another one who comes in and works very, very hard.
"He's a local lad and it'll be a boost for everyone when he comes back to training.
"It'll pick up the standards again because of the way he trains.
"He's one of those guys who, again, you cannot have too many of around this football club - genuine, honest kids who come in every day and work properly.
"They're gold dust around the football club."