Krul and Cabaye in contention
Goalkeeper Tim Krul and midfielder Yohan Cabaye could both return to the Newcastle squad for Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Manchester City.
Krul (shoulder) and Cabaye (Achilles) both missed the FA Cup third-round defeat by Cardiff last weekend, but are back in training and may figure.
However, full-back Davide Santon is a doubt with a thigh problem and is set to join fellow defenders Fabricio Coloccini (knee) and the suspended Mathieu Debuchy on the sidelines.
Newcastle opened their Barclays Premier League campaign at City, where a 4-0 defeat as defender Steven Taylor was sent off before the break did little to improve the mood.
The sides meet again at St James' Parkwith the Magpies having improved significantly since then to lie in eighth place in the table.
Nevertheless, manager Alan Pardew is keen to strengthen his squad and has already indicated a striker is at the top of his wish-list with Loic Remy only on loan from QPR for the season and Shola Ameobi out of contract at the end of the campaign.
Newcastle are pursuing a long-held interest in Borussia Monchengladbach's Luuk de Jong, and they have been heavily linked with Montpellier midfielder Remy Cabella in recent weeks.
However, Pardew, who insisted the club had not tabled a bid for any player, was giving little away.
He said: "You always want to progress. You want to progress as a team and the inclusion of another player would be great.
"From my point of view, I would like to see a player come in, but it needs to be right financially for the board.
"The legs are working under the water in terms of making calls and trying to manoeuvre a transfer that will work for us.
"From our point of view, there is interest in any quality player. But I am not going to talk about one individual."
City midfielder Yaya Toure is fit after overcoming a minor ankle knock suffered in midweek.
Top scorer Sergio Aguero (calf) remains on the sidelines but could be close to a return while fellow forward Stevan Jovetic and midfielder Jack Rodwell (both hamstring) are also still out.
Winger Jesus Navas returns after resting a knee problem while defender Dedryck Boyata is available again after suspension. Defenders Micah Richards and Martin Demichelis are available after injury.
Confidence is high at City after a run of 14 games unbeaten in all competitions since their last loss at Sunderland in November.
In that time they have scored six against Arsenal and Tottenham and won away at Bayern Munich.
They faced some tough games over the Christmas period but came through unscathed and thrashed West Ham 6-0 in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final in midweek.
Boss Manuel Pellegrini said: "It is going very well of course, we are in a very good moment.
"But we are just in the middle of the season, we are just preparing for a good (end to the) season.
"We have very important games in the games in the coming days because all the games are knockout, except Premier League, which will be a very close until the end of the year.
"We must win here against Blackburn Rovers or we are out of the FA Cup.
"Maybe in the Capital One we have made a big step towards the final but in February we start again in the Champions League.
"It is very important to continue and to understand we must continue in the same way."