Newcastle United boss Alan Shearer says Mark Viduka could play his way into a new contract before season end. Shearer revealed: "It's fair to say Mark probably wouldn't have played again this season if things hadn't changed.
"It would have been a complete waste to just let him lie on the treatment table looking forward to going back to the beaches in Australia.
"That's what his plans were for this summer. He was injured and not in a good condition and probably on his way to Oz.
"It's because talks hadn't happened between him and the club but he's shown me a great appetite to get us out of trouble.
"I asked Mark, 'Do you want to help play a part in us trying to stay up?' And the answer was definitely 'Yes'."
Shearer has now told Viduka he could earn himself another contract at Newcastle if he can help them avoid the drop.
The former England skipper added: "That's something we'd have to look at come the end of the season.
"I've said to Mark, 'Look, we want you fit for the remaining games, then we'll see what happens after that'."