Some good news today in that both Joey Barton and Alan Smith will be resuming training next week, and could be ready to play within a couple of weeks.
Joey Barton - returns to training next week
Former Manchester United and Leeds striker, Alan Smith, has been sidelined with an Achilles injury since early September, and of course Joey has had a right knee injury he picked up in the home game against Wigan in mid-November.
The return of Barton will be particularly welcomed by Joe Kinnear, but the return of Smith to fitness could signal his transfer away from Newcastle, either permanently or on loan initially in January, with a permanent deal being struck in the summer.
There was news recently that Everton boss David Moyes would like to take him to Goodison, but Moyes may wait for him to prove he is over his knee injury before making a move later this month.
Joe Kinnear has said he prefers to put players in their best positions, so we just cannot see Alan Smith getting many games for Newcastle up front, and it’s probably a win-win that Alan moves elsewhere in January.
Presumably Joe would like a permanent deal for Smith, so he can get some transfer money to spend, but we know Everton have no such money to spend, at least in January.