Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Taylor Looks to End His Injury Hell

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Taylor Looks to End His Injury Hell

Article excerpt

STEVEN Taylor will be a frustrated spectator at St James' Park on Sunday, but the central defender can see light at the end of the tunnel as he battles to return from injury, writes STUART RAYNER.

Finally free of the protective boot he had to wear for the first couple of months, the central defender is targeting a return for pre-season "fitter, stronger and better".

Taylor (pictured right) ruptured his Achilles against Chelsea in early December, and is not expected to play again this season.

The Magpies have missed him, conceding 25 goals in the sub-sequent 14 games. It has been even more difficult for the 26-year-old - one of the few Tyneside-reared members of Newcastle's squad - but he has praised manager Alan Pardew for cushioning the blow.

"The good thing for me is I've got a manager and a coaching staff who always get me into the dressing room and amongst the lads," he said. "I still feel part of it, which is a massive thing for me. When you get injured you can get forgotten about but fair play to the rest of the lads, they have been spot on and worked with me every single day.

"I'm out of the boot now, back walking and back in the gym, and back to hard work.

"It's going to be a long, hard recovery. I know some people say it's the worst injury you can get as a footballer, but I'm taking it in my stride. I'm relishing the chance to come back and I can't wait to come back fitter, stronger and better than I was before. I'm hoping to be involved in the start of the next pre-season." An important part of the process for Taylor was January's warm-weather training trip to Tenerife. Although Taylor was still in his protective boot by then, he was heavily involved in the work Newcastle did. Apart from being an important part of his physical rehabilitation, it was a significant psychological boost for a player who seemed somewhat alienated when he missed the second half of the Magpies' Championship-winning 2009-10 season with a broken cheekbone. …

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