Siem de Jong has admitted that he is close to full fitness.
Speaking to the Shields Gazette, de Jong has admitted that he is close to a return to full fitness, having featured for Newcastle’s Under-21’s on Wednesday evening.
“I feel all right physically,” said de Jong, who played 45 minutes of the 2-0 loss to Derby County. “I’m almost back, but I just feel I missed the last five per cent. Sometimes you think you want to make an action, but you’re not that explosive yet. I’m glad to have that 45 minutes.
“I’m still building up. I’m training hard. I’ll be training hard in the coming days.”
The 26-year-old midfielder has certainly given a pleasing assessment of his return to full fitness, having suffered two long-term injuries this season.
After missing several months at the beginning of the season on the sidelines due to a torn thigh muscle, the former Ajax man’s return to Under-21 action was then put on hold after he was struck down with a collapsed lung.
That required surgery back in February, and this 45 minutes was the first that he has played since then.
The lack of match fitness showed, as he did little of note whilst captaining the reserve side, although expectation should not be too high on the playmaker considering how little football he has completed this term - he has just three first-team games to his name.
Having only just returned to Under-21 action it would not be a surprise to see de Jong remain out of competitive games for a number of weeks yet, as he looks to gain full match fitness.
He is unfortunate considering how close the end of the season is, and he may have to wait until next term to finally start making an impact at St James’ Park.