Newcastle United midfielder Siem de Jong has told the Sunderland Echo that he will be cautious with his comeback from injury.
The Dutchman has missed most the campaign so far after tearing a thigh muscle back in August, but he will have to fight against the urge to rush back.
De Jong does not want to take any chances with his recuperation process and he has said that his first-team return could still be some way off.
“I still need to have a couple more training sessions and some minutes with the Under-21s maybe in the coming weeks to get up to full strength," he said.
“I think I need a little bit (of game-time for the Under-21s), especially if I want to play long parts of games. I need some conditioning work but also games, so it’s going to probably be a couple of games with the Under-21s, as well as training sessions, like 11 against 11 on the pitch."
De Jong was one of Newcastle's marquee additions over the summer and his absence has been sorely felt by the side.
Although the Mapgies do have a lot of options in central midfield, none of them possess the same sort of characteristics as the Dutch international and his return should help push the side on.
A creator and a goalscorer, de Jong is likely to increase Newcastle's attacking threat considerably and that will be a welcome boost for supporters of the side.
At the moment Newcastle are in 11th position in the Premier League table, but they will be looking to improve that position with de Jong in the team and once the uncertainty surrounding their managerial situation ends.