Skipper back for leaders

08 February 2010 02:17
Alan Smith will return to the Newcastle squad for Tuesday night's Coca-Cola Championship trip to Derby. The experienced midfielder missed Friday evening's 5-1 victory over Cardiff with a thigh problem, but is available for the game at Pride Park. However, Fabricio Coloccini, who also missed out against the Bluebirds with a hamstring strain, remains a doubt, while Nicky Butt (thigh) will be sidelined once again. Loan signing Patrick van Aanholt will continue to deputise for Jose Enrique (hamstring), while Steven Taylor is expected to be out for around two months with a medial ligament strain. Midfielder Joey Barton is finally due to return to training after a long-standing foot injury this week and could yet have a significant part to play as the season reaches its conclusion.

Source: PA