By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Fabricio Coloccini has vowed to play his part at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, even if it is not on the pitch, as he laughed off suggestions about being sidelined until Christmas with a groin injury.
The Argentine defender picked up the knock while on international duty earlier this month and missed last weekend's Premier League draw with Liverpool.
However, he has been back in light training this week at the Magpies' Benton-based headquarters, with boss Alan Pardew revealing on Friday that the skipper is "touch and go" for spot in the Tyne-Wear derby.
And even if Sunday's fixture comes too early for Coloccini, the centre-back will lend his experience and know-how to the rest of the dressing room, as Newcastle bid for another positive result on Wearside.
"It is not too bad. I have started to run so I am pleased with that," Coloccini told nufc.co.uk about his groin complaint.
"I heard in the news that I was supposed to be in Argentina, that I could be out for ten weeks but no, that is not true.
"It is difficult when you are out, especially for games like Sunderland, because you would like to be on the pitch.
"I am not sure whether I will play yet but if I don't I will give the players help and talk to them.
"A lot of them played in the derby last year, apart from Remy, but everyone knows what this game means.
"It is a big one for everyone and hopefully we can get three points."