Andy Carroll could be named among Newcastle United's substitutes against Brighton if he gets the green light from his specialist.

The 30-year-old has not played since February after having an operation on his troublesome ankle and Steve Bruce has been keen not to rush him back.

Carroll was deemed ready to take part in the non-contact section of Tuesday's training session for the first time and joined in the warm-up, the boxes and a passing drill.

Bruce has confirmed that if Carroll gets the all-clear from an appointment with a specialist in London on Friday, he could be included in the match day squad at St James' Park next week.

“It is good news. Listen, he has got a spring in his step. He has joined in for the first time in the last couple of days and, thankfully, touch wood, he has not had a reaction to that," he told reporters.

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“He has had a session this morning and you can see he is confident and his ankle is OK so, touch wood, let's hope it's good news. It's just for him [specialist] now to say, 'OK, off you go.'"

Carroll's ankle has not had an adverse reaction to the physical work he has done in the gym and out on the grass since joining the Magpies on deadline day.

Although Carroll was ruled out of Newcastle's first six games of the season - missing Saturday's trip to Liverpool - Bruce believes bringing the striker back was a 'calculated gamble' worth taking given how he is on a highly-incentivised deal.

"I remember deadline day here - I think he changed the mood in the stadium," he said. "If we get 12, 15 starts from him, then I'll be delighted.

"We all know he's not going to play 35 times but he could be an impact player. Let's hope his ankle is OK and if he is OK, he is going to be a big plus for us."

 

While Carroll has not yet made his second debut for his boyhood club, he has been keen to pass on his Premier League expertise in meetings with the club's strikers.

Indeed, Bruce has welcomed Carroll's overall influence in the dressing room since he rejoined the club last month.

"He's not the young Andy Carroll. It's the Andy Carroll who can help a young lad, help the two Longstaffs, help Allan Saint-Maximin because he's a bag of tricks," he added.

"It's to try and help them a little bit and steer them in the right way and I think he's enjoyed that responsibility. He's not the young one; he's matured a lot. He's the 30-year-old Andy Carroll so in that respect he's been good around the place."

While Carroll has moved a step closer to returning to action, fellow striker Dwight Gayle continues to be sidelined by a calf problem.

 

Gayle, who missed just three Premier League games with Newcastle in 2017-18, travelled to China with his team-mates for the Premier League Asia Cup but did not play.

Initially, it was thought Gayle had a strain but he was sent to a specialist a couple of weeks ago after again feeling his calf while doing some strength work in the gym.

As the club struggle to get to the bottom of the injury, Gayle has been given a period of complete rest.

"We've decided to completely shut him down, which was basically 10 days ago, in the hope that complete rest...we're getting so far with him - he thinks he's OK - the frustration for me is on the last day in China, we had a session and I watched him and I thought, 'Oh wow,'" Bruce added.

"Unfortunately, the reaction when he got home was not good. He couldn't put his foot down again. It's a concern for us because he's been scanned, he's seen specialists. The way we're taking this one at the minute is just to shut him down totally and say, right, until he's pain free, let's go back to basics."