MATTY LONGSTAFF has returned to training with Newcastle United – but the youngster will not be considered for tomorrow evening’s game with Aston Villa.

The younger of the two Longstaff brothers has been involved in a lengthy contract stand-off with the Magpies that looks likely to see him leave this summer, with Italian side Udinese favourites to sign him.

Steve Bruce is hoping he will sign a short-term waiver enabling him to play beyond the end of the month, and his return to training means he should be available for the latter weeks of the season provided he agrees to extend his current deal to cover the remainder of the campaign.

His brother, Sean, has also been injured, but should return to training before the end of the week.

Bruce said: “I don’t think we’ll have anyone back (for the Villa game). We’ve seen the young Longstaff, we’ve seen Matty train yesterday for the first time. Sean is still niggling around, but with muscle injuries, we’re just erring on the side of caution.

“If you bring them back and all of a sudden they’re going to miss three weeks, then it’s over with. So we’re just err on the side of caution and give them an extra few days if they need it. But Matty trained yesterday so we’ll see how he is.

“Flo (Lejeune) is out on the grass doing a little bit, but unfortunately Ciaran (Clark), who has had an operation on his ankle, is a bit sore. They’re not joining in at the moment.”

Newcastle return to action tomorrow just three days after they ended their lockdown with a 3-0 win over Sheffield United, and while Bruce accepts he will have to rotate his squad between now and the end of the season, he is reluctant to make wholesale changes after just one game.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola made eight changes for last night’s win over Burnley – Newcastle host City in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday – but Bruce has hinted he is unlikely to follow the Spaniard’s lead.

He said: “I’m sure there’ll come a time when there’ll have to be change, but after one game? Whether we have to do it tomorrow so quickly, we’ll just assess that and see how a few people are.

“It certainly helps when you can make the five substitutions like we made (against Sheffield United). I think that’s been a really good rule to help everybody.

“We’ll see. Very quickly, we got up to the levels of fitness that are required, so we’ll see how they’ve recovered. There’ll be time for change, but whether that’s tomorrow, so early, we’ll see.”