Krystian Pearce has a chance to prove that he is worthy of a spot in the starting 11, following his return to Meadow Lane.
Pearce enjoyed a successful three-month loan spell with npower League 2 strugglers Barnet, which allowed him to pick up valuable game time.
The defender missed the Magpies’ pre-season campaign through injury but could be called upon as early as this weekend.
With Dean Leacock missing the midweek encounter with Rotherham through injury and Damion Stewart picking up a red card in the fixture, the centre-back spot alongside Gary Liddle appears to be up for grabs.
“Krystian’s gone out and been playing regular games, which was what he needed,” said first team manager Keith Curle.
“He’s come back in but he’s got to force his way into the team.
“We’ve had close contact with Barnet and have detailed reports on all the games that he’s played.
“He’s been doing well, getting fit and getting through games.
“If he does enough in training and shows enough application and attitude, then he’s got a chance.
“We know he’s got ability but he’s got to earn the right to get into the team, just like all of the professionals at this football club.
“That’s what they have to strive to do day in, day out.”
Tyrell Waite, Curtis Thompson and Greg Tempest are also back with the club, having completed their loan stints.