The 31-year-old Argentina international returns to contention following his successful battle against testicular cancer, and is assured of a warm welcome at St James’ Park.
Full-back Daryl Janmaat has recovered from the knock he picked up during the 5-0 defeat at Manchester City, but Cheick Tiote is likely to miss the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery and will join fellow midfielders Siem de Jong (collapsed lung), Remy Cabella (knee) and the suspended Jack Colback, as well as defenders Steven Taylor (Achilles) and Paul Dummett (knee), on the sidelines.
Tim Sherwood has a defensive headache, with Ron Vlaar and Kieran Richardson out of Aston Villa’s trip.
Alan Hutton and Aly Cissokho are also doubts for Sherwood at the back while Philippe Senderos is unlikely to be fit as he battles a calf problem.
Vlaar is suspended after his red card as he conceded a last-minute penalty as Sherwood lost his first game in charge against Stoke 2-1 last week while Richardson limped off with a calf injury.