Francis returns injured
Teenage midfielder Alex Francis has returned injured from his one month loan spell at Blue Square North club Blyth Spartans due to a training ground injury.
There was no other player involved when Francis turned his ankle while attempting to turn on a 3G pitch and he is expected to be out for three weeks
During his time at Blyth the former England Colleges player managed only two appearances due to injury, postponements and being cup-tied in the FA Trophy.
Francis played the full 90 minutes in draws at Redditch United and Stafford Rangers but most Blyth fans never saw the player in action
"It is unfortunate for both ourselves and Gateshead that Francis was only able to play two games because he came to Blyth to get games under his belt and do a job," said Blyth boss Mick Tait
"He did okay in the two games he played sitting in front of the back four and he fitted in very well - hopefully he will make a quick recovery."
Francis has made seven starts and 13 appearances off the bench for hometown club Gateshead this season and attended a training session today on Tyneside.
"The ankle isn't broken and I am able to run in straight lines," said Francis "so it is just a case of ticking over at the minute.
"Hopefully there isn't any serious ligament damage and I'll be available for selection by the middle of January.
"It was good to play a couple of games at Blyth, though frustrating it wasn't more, but I'm now back at Gateshead and ready to fight for my place."