So far the on loan Aston Villa midfielder's sole contribution to Newcastle's season, and fight for Barclays Premier League survival, has been to break the club's Friday night curfew and be photographed in a city centre nightclub with striker Leon Best showing off their midriffs.
It earned the pair a fine and reprimand from Alan Pardew.
Painting the Toon red: Stephen Ireland (right) and Leon Best were ticked off by Alan Pardew
The former Republic of Ireland international quit Villa on the final day of the January transfer window, just hours before Newcastle sold Andy Carroll, and like the ?35million Liverpool striker, Ireland arrived at his new club injured.
Ireland, who only started eight games at Villa Park following an ?8million switch from Manchester City, was signed with a knee injury and then picked up a fresh thigh problem after a fortnight which has now forced him to miss nine games.
But now Pardew hopes to pick the controversial figure for Manchester United's visit to St James' Park next Tuesday. He will also have midfielder Cheik Tiote back from suspension and Shola Ameobi will return after a knee injury ruled him out of Sunday's defeat at Villa.
The Newcastle manager, who is without suspended Kevin Nolan next week, has admitted his squad is too small to cope with a Premier League season and he will plead with owner Mike Ashley to strengthen their troops with the Carroll transfer money.
Pardew said: 'We had four young boys on the bench at Villa. We didn't have the options we should have for a club our size. That is a little note for next year.'
Enrique leaving Newcastle for Liverpool! Thompson says deal is doneAston Villa 1 Newcastle 0: Young in 'dive' storm as Villa edge clear of dropAll the latest Newcastle United news, features and opinion
Explore more:People: Kevin Nolan, Mike Ashley, Andy Carroll, Leon Best Places: Newcastle, Liverpool, Republic of Ireland, Ireland