Brian's Back

Brian Deane is back training and set to return to action this weekend - while Rufus Brevett could play again this season.

Brian has missed the last three games and John Green says:

"He is training today and tomorrow after an ankle impingement following a tackle which caused his toe to point in such a position that great pain was caused; his rehab has gone okay and he should be available for Saturday."

And Alan Pardew confirms:

"Deano will be available for Saturday and that is big news for us; he is going to be an important player for us in this run-in and I am looking forward to having him in the dressing room."

Regarding other injuries, John says:

"Rob Lee is doing really well and he is four weeks on from his operation now having worn the lining in bone, something he had at Newcastle and which has been aggravated.

"He saw the same surgeon that he did before because he was happy with him and is now running.

"He will commence football training next week and he is a fortnight away from playing, all being well.

"Rufus Brevett will be in plaster until February 10th having had screws put into his fracture; hopefully that will be the end of the problem and he will be back playing six to eight weeks after the plaster is off.

"Regarding Steve Lomas, he had a 90 minute game at Charlton recently on a Tuesday but then played on the Friday after training the day before and that was probably a game too far as he tweaked his groin.

"This means we weren't able to do any further work on his ankle so he has lost three weeks but we hope it will settle fairly quickly and he can recommence rehab on it next week.

"Elliot Ward is still coming back after his back operation and although he is running he has put on a lot of weight and will be out for most of the rest of this season."

Meanwhile, Alan is pleased that talk of Jermain Defoe moving on in the transfer window has died down and adds:

"There's been a lot of attention on other players which has taken the focus away - and that is a good thing.

"The Jermain Defoe 'issue' will always be here because he's a top player; hopefully it won't ever go away and I'll always be saying that."

As for incomings, he says:

"There isn't a great deal in the budget but I do want to do some business - a loan player or a small signing would do us a world of good."