Nigel trained on Friday, and Alan Pardew says:
"It will be important to have Nigel back playing, though it is not certain for Saturday."
"His energy was missed in the week and it would be nice to see that back in the team - but we certainly should be able to cope without him if he is not available."
With Alan looking for more goals from his players, he adds:
"It is fair to say Nigel is due to score a goal but all he can do is keep getting in the right positions - he has certainly been one of our better performers this season but he does hold his hands up at not scoring more."
Alan is hoping for a change in fortunes with regards to injuries, as he once more has to do without Teddy Sheringham, and he adds:
"The disappointing thing is that we haven't really had an injury-free run at it - and the target for the next two thirds of the season is to get everyone fit, and then you will see a much stronger side all round that can cope with a lot of games."
As well as missing Teddy's goals, Alan feels his presence is important as well in terms of what it does to the other team's way of thinking.
"There is the psychological factor of the opposition seeing his name on the team sheet; it puts them on the back foot, and obviously we are missing that at the moment," he says.
"But that is no detriment to the players that are playing; anyone coming to our place at the moment will certainly feel a little bit in awe because of our record."
SQUAD: Bywater, Walker, Repka, Fletcher, Powell, Harewood, Lomas, Brevett, Davenport, Rebrov, Mullins, Reo-Coker, Hutchison, Chadwick, Zamora, Etherington, Ferdinand, Melville.