Stephen Ireland to Debut Against Wolves

According to Miles Starforth of The Shields Gazette, Stephen Ireland has been declared fit and will play against Wolverhampton on April 2 at St James' Park. 

Ireland, who along with teammate Leon Best made headlines last week for patronizing a Newcastle night club the night before the team's tie with Stoke City, is on loan from Aston Villa and has not played since coming over during the January transfer window due to a knee injury. 

Pardew did not say whether or not he would start or whether he would be a 1:1 replacement for the suspended Cheik Tiote, though that would seem to be the most likely scenario. 

How Ireland performs over the final eight games of the season will likely determine whether or not management will pursue a long-term deal with the 24 year-old once-upon-a-time prospect. 

"We’re hoping he’ll train fully on Monday, which would give him a week’s work going into the Wolves game," said Pardew.

"He’s got a very good chance, though we’re conscious of what happened the last time when he pulled a muscle in his thigh.

"You’ve got to be so careful with players coming back as they can pick up little injuries. We’ve taken a little bit more time over him. He could probably join in today or tomorrow, but we’ll hold him back until next week."

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