Carroll doubtful for Wigan clash
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is keeping his fingers crossed as awaits news on an injury to star striker Andy Carroll.
The 21-year-old is a doubt for Sunday's vital Barclays Premier League trip to Wigan with a thigh problem, the extent of which is still being assessed.
Pardew said: "As it stands at the moment, we are sweating on Andy Carroll. He has got a thigh injury that will be assessed on Friday, so we will have to find out how serious that is."
Should Carroll miss out at the DW Stadium, that would be a huge blow to Pardew and the Magpies, who have been indebted to the Academy graduate's 11 goals to date this season.
Newcastle have slipped to within three points of the drop zone as a result of Christmas defeats at the hands of Manchester City and Tottenham, and face big games against Wigan and West Ham inside the next few days as they attempt to kick-start their survival campaign once again.
Meanwhile, Pardew has refused to confirm or deny that the club is ready to rekindle their interest in Spurs striker Robbie Keane.
Predecessor Chris Hughton tried to land the 30-year-old Republic of Ireland skipper on loan during the summer, and it is understood the Magpies retain an interest in a man who has played a largely peripheral role at White Hart Lane during the ensuing months.
However, the Londoners are thought to want a permanent deal and with Keane, who is also being tracked by West Ham Birmingham and Wolves, commanding a lucrative pay package, Newcastle are unlikely to be in that market.
Pardew was giving little away about his plans for the January window, but when asked about Keane, he replied: "Any player of that sort of quality that becomes available, we would be interested in. Whether it is possible to bring them to the club for a number of reasons, we will have to see.
"But I am not going to go into individuals because we have had so many names thrown at us and so many of our players leaving, it is ridiculous to name them all, so I will pass on that one."