Newcastle United manager John Carver has told the Chronicle that he has put no date on Siem de Jong's expected return to first-team action yet.
De Jong has been out since August and it appears that it will still be some time before he is back playing again.
The Dutchman picked up a severe thigh injury soon after arriving on Tyneside and just as it seemed his comeback was imminent, he was dealt the further blow of suffering a collapsed lung.
It means that his first season at Newcastle has basically become a write-off and Carver is not putting any pressure on De Jong to rush back to fitness.
“Well for everybody, it’s a huge blow, but more importantly for the boy himself because he is such a great lad," Carver said.
“We have not given a guideline on not coming back – the most important thing for me is his health, and he will decide when he is ready to come back.
“He will be under no pressure. We will do everything right, the football club will do everything right to make sure everything is done for him properly."
De Jong's absence from Newcastle has been sorely felt, as they have lacked the creativity he would have offered from midfield.
The Magpies have a number of central midfield options, but they are all of a similar mould and are more noted for their energy rather than their technical ability.
De Jong, however, was brought to the club to dictate the tempo of their matches and create chances for their more clinical players.
He has been unable to do that so far due to his prolonged period on the sidelines, but the hope is that he can play a part in their campaign next season where is he likely to become a key player.