ANDY CARROLL will be on the substitutes’ bench for Newcastle United’s home game against Brighton tomorrow, provided he comes through a final piece of training later today unscathed.

Carroll will make the first appearance of his second spell as a Magpies player, and his first senior outing of any description since the end of February, having stepped up his training schedule significantly in the last week.

He received the green light to increase the intensity of his training when he met his London-based specialist at the end of last week, and took part in his first full-contact session on Monday.

He has shown no ill effects from his exertions this week, and while Steve Bruce will not be considering him for tomorrow’s starting line-up, he is keen to name the 30-year-old on the substitutes’ bench.

Bruce said: “As long as he comes through today he will be involved, which is good news for all of us at the top end of the pitch. With him, Allan Saint-Maximin and Dwight Gayle (out injured), we’ve had limited options.

“We all know if Andy stays fit, he’s a wonderful centre-forward. A bit old-school, but of his type I don’t think there’s been anybody better in the last eight or ten years when he’s been playing. A fit Andy Carroll will be great for us going forward.

“Since he’s got himself back and been in and around outside on the grass, and training with us for the last week, it’s been pretty evident he’s given everybody a lift. He’s the local lad who’s come back home and it’s good to see him involved.”

Allan Saint-Maxmin is also in contention for a place in tomorrow’s squad, having completed his recovery from the recurrence of a hamstring injury that forced him off in the early stages of Newcastle’s 1-0 win at Tottenham.

Bruce said: “He’s (Saint-Maximin) certainly a character. He is what you see on the pitch – he’s that off it too. He wants to entertain.

“We all want him on the pitch and playing well. He’s got that ability to get people off their seats and do something a bit different. I’m sure I’ll have many awkward nights with him, but we’re just concentrating about getting him back on the pitch.”

DeAndre Yedlin is also available after recovering from injury, but Florian Lejeune, Matt Ritchie, Sean Longstaff and Dwight Gayle remain sidelined.