Lee Ryder reckons Callum Wilson may be among the substitutes for Newcastle’s clash with Spurs on Sunday afternoon.
The fixture represents the start of a nail-biting run-in for the Toon, who are currently just two points above the bottom three.
NUFC’s grim struggles without Wilson
Wilson has been out of action since picking up a hamstring injury in the 3-2 win over Southampton on 11 February.
Newcastle haven’t won any of their six league matches since and they’ve been able to score just three goals without their leading marksman.
Wilson has scored 10 goals in his debut season on Tyneside, double the tally of his nearest challenger Miguel Almiron (via BBC Sport).
Steve Bruce suggested in his pre-match press conference that this fixture could come too soon for Wilson, but Ryder is more optimistic.
The Newcastle journalist was speaking to the Everything is Black and White podcast.
Ryder makes Wilson prediction
“[Bruce] wasn’t so hopeful on Callum Wilson but let’s wait and see,” he said. “It could be a little bit of mind games. There are still two training sessions to go.
“Part of me thinks that Callum Wilson could be a substitute at the weekend. That’s just from what I’ve seen in years gone by.
“He’ll want to be at least on the bench.
“What a boost that would be when the team sheets drop.”
‘An hour from Saint-Maximin, half an hour from Wilson’
Ryder was asked if there was a danger that Wilson could aggravate the injury if he was rushed back, with Newcastle in desperate need of goals.
But he explained that Newcastle could manage their demands at first.
“It could be a risk, especially Wilson with the hamstring situation,” he said. “It’ll be down to the medical team to say how much of a risk it is.
“If you could get an hour from [Allan] Saint-Maximin and half an hour from Callum Wilson, that would be a successful weekend.
“It would give them a big chance of getting something from Spurs.”
Wilson was on the scoresheet back in September as Newcastle nicked a point away to Spurs deep into stoppage time.
Their relegation rivals Fulham head to Aston Villa later on Sunday.