Newcastle United manager Sam Allardyce has hinted that Celestine Babayaro's St James' Park future is hanging by a thread.
The 29-year-old former Chelsea star has failed to feature in the first team since March's home defeat to Manchester City and has been sidelined by a series of minor injuries.
A frustrated Allardcye told the Chronicle: "He's no longer injured and he's training.
"But having not played competitively for such a long time he's short of match fitness. This now is the last go at it for Celestine.
"There's a possibility that we may need Celestine in January. We'll have four players away at the African Nations then.
"But we have to get him match-fit and then keep him that way. The squad will be short in January and we'll need all of what we do have left to stay fit after what will have been a gruelling December programme."