Newcastle United forward Andy Carroll finally made his long-awaited second debut for the club against Brighton on Saturday.
After being released by West Ham United over the summer, Steve Bruce decided to bring the striker to St James’ Park on a free-deal despite him having an injury.
Carroll joined on transfer deadline day but has been sidelined with that problem for the opening couple of months as he looked to prove his fitness.
The England international returned against Brighton and came off the bench to a cauldron of noise in the North East as he made his first start since arriving again at his boyhood club.
Despite it only being an eight-minute cameo alongside Joelinton, Carroll made an instant impact and caused problems for the Seagulls’ defence who were relatively untested for the majority of the game.
After the goalless draw, the Telegraph reported that Newcastle staff were fearful that the 30-year-old wouldn’t be able to start a game until after Christmas due to fitness concerns.
That would be the worst-case scenario for Bruce, who would want all of his forwards to be fully fit and available for selection at all times.
The Chronicle have reported that Carroll got through the Brighton clash unscathed and that he is building up to being prepared for his first full start since returning through injury.
With Carroll having returned to the first-team fold and come through positively, Newcastle staff will surely have seen their fears slowly disappearing.
Carroll hasn’t managed to start over 10 games in a single Premier League campaign for the past couple of seasons, and he will definitely be hoping to change that this season.
His eight minutes against Brighton were only the start of what he hopes will be a positive campaign in which he can score his first goal in more than a full campaign.
With the experienced forward coming through his first taste of action this season unscathed, fears surrounding his fitness will surely have faded.