Newcastle midfielder returns to action

Barton has been out of action for six months, but returned to action in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Hibernian on Monday.

“It was his first game and he played for 45 minutes and we’ve got to be mindful of that,” Hughton told Sky Sports News.

“We’ve got to protect him that way and we’ve got to make sure that when he is available then physically he’s able to cope with the demands.

“But his progress has been good in the last few weeks and he’s very much enjoying being back in the fold.”