James featured from the off in 28 matches last season as Leicester gained promotion from the Championship, but has been restricted to just three substitute appearances this term after being hampered by a shin injury.
However, James completed 90 minutes in a friendly against Aston Villa on Wednesday and believes he is fit enough to play from the first whistle at St James' Park.
"It was a good run-out for the lads who aren't playing much at the moment or not getting in the squad," James told the club's official website.
"It gives you a chance to get 90 minutes under your belt.
"I've come on three times in the last three games so that's been really good for my fitness.
"It's great to get 90 minutes. Hopefully I can kick on and get a starting place for the next game."
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