Alan Pardew believes Ryan Taylor will play again for Newcastle United and even hinted the midfielder could be weeks away from a comeback.
If the 29-year-old can prove his fitness and force his way into the manager’s plans, it would bring an end to over two years of misery.
Taylor’s last first-team game for Newcastle was a Europa League qualifier against Atromitos in August 2012.
He ruptured his cruciate ligament in that match and thought he had fought back to fitness until the knee gave away again in April last year, just five days after he started training again.
Back then he was told that he faced a year out, and many then feared his career had been brought to an end.
However, Pardew is hopeful that the Liverpudlian will at least be available for selection by the time September comes.
When asked about Taylor’s situation, Pardew said: “He’s a great player for us and a great person. We think he is a few weeks away from full contact training. Maybe four or five weeks.”
If, and it is a big if, the luckless Taylor can get back to his best then he would be a superb addition to Pardew’s squad.
Apart from his famous delivery from set-pieces, he can play in midfield and defence.
But it is asking a lot for any player to pick up their career after missing over two years through two serious knee injuries
Two operations by Dr Richard Steadman, the world’s leading knee surgeon, over the 12 months has welded his right knee together and the player himself believes that he can still contribute to the Newcastle cause.
In an interview given last year, Taylor, who has also broken his leg twice, revealed how hard he had been working to get back.
He admitted was determined not to give in after suffering so much ill fortune. He said: “It’s been like this throughout my career. I always say ‘I hope this is the last one’ and it should be it for me now.
I’ve had my fair share of injuries. I’m not going to say it this time.
“However, hopefully I can get over this one and have a nice end to a career that has been plagued by injuries.
“It’s not a lot to ask.
“And the thing is they haven’t been injuries that were avoidable. No bad tackles or anything like that. It’s wrong place, wrong time.”