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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 January 2008, 16:34 GMT
Barton back training at Newcastle
Joey Barton
Barton has not played since just before Christmas
Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton has returned to training - less than three weeks after being charged with assault.

Barton's bail conditions mean the 25-year-old remains unavailable to play for Newcastle.

"Joey had to be introduced to training because at the end of the day, he is one of our players," said caretaker boss Nigel Pearson.

"He has got back in the last couple of days to basically assess his fitness, and we will go from there."

Barton was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray after an incident in Liverpool's Church Street last month.

Since his arrest on 27 December Barton has missed five Newcastle games and in his absence the club have sacked manager Sam Allardyce, who brought the midfielder to St James' Park in the summer for 5.8m.

"What I can tell you is that the bail rulings are in place," added Pearson. "Outside of that, I can't really comment because I am not totally au fait with the details.

"All I will say that any rules and regulations which are in place will be met by us."

SEE ALSO
Lawyers check if Barton can play
04 Jan 08 |  Merseyside
Footballer Barton freed on bail
03 Jan 08 |  England
Big Sam's wrong turn
09 Jan 08 |  Newcastle United
Allardyce reign ends at Newcastle
09 Jan 08 |  Newcastle United


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