Newcastle's Demba Ba & Demba Cisse to return early from Africa
Newcastle's Senegalese strikers Demba Ba and Demba Cisse may return from the African Cup of Nations in time to face Blackburn on Wednesday.
Manager Alan Pardew was expecting to be without the pair until next month, but defeats by Zambia and Equatorial Guinea mean they will return early.
"Blackburn on Wednesday is probably a bit tight, but we might try to get them back for that," said Pardew.
"They are two great players and you want your best players in your team."
The news comes as a timely boost for Pardew, whose side collapsed to a 5-2 defeat at Fulham last weekend without top scorer Ba.
Cisse was signed from German side Freiburg before the tournament got under way and is yet to make his Newcastle debut.
"We have to understand the federation of Senegal's wishes, and also our own," said Pardew. "We will have a conversation as to when and where we can get them back.
"I am guessing they are not too pleased about how it's gone, so that's something we will have to focus on when they return.
"On the other hand they are coming back early, so that part of it, I am pleased about.
Newcastle's other participant in the tournament is Ivory Coast midfielder Cheick Tiote, who remains involved after his side's 1-0 win over Sudan in their opening match.