Good news today for Newcastle – for a change – goalkeeper Steve Harper has returned to training.
Steve Harper shown with Barton and Nolan yesterday
It seems the 35 year-old goalkeeper has been training with the rest of the team for the last few days, and trained yesterday with the squad at St. James’ Park, because the Benton training grounds were frozen solid.
This is what Steve said last night:
“Now I’m just getting the confidence in my shoulder up and testing myself more and more every day,”
“I’m just looking forward to getting back out there and having a game – hopefully they might arrange an indoor match for me.”
“Then I’d hope to be in contention later in the month, after a couple more weeks of getting up to speed.”
After being out of action since he was injured in the first half at Everton on 18th September, it’s as much a mental rehabilitation now as physical, since Steve seems almost 100% fit physically.
“That’s the thing to work on now,” “The physical side is 99 per cent there; the last one per cent is the mental side, getting over it, getting used to flying around again, which unfortunately does take time.”
“But hopefully in a couple of weeks’ time, I’ll be back and giving the manager a headache.” “I feel really good. It’s great to be back training after ten weeks of not diving around, and I must pay credit to the fantastic medical staff who have helped me.”
“Firstly, Dr Andrew Wallace, who did my operation and has done a fantastic job, club doctor Paul Catterson, physios Derek Wright, David Henderson and Michael Harding and Simon Tweddle, the fitness coach.”
“They’ve all done a great job for me. I am a grumpy patient – I’d be the first to admit that – but they’ve kept me going and given me fantastic treatment. I have a lot to thank them for.”
So it will probably be about three weeks, getting towards the new year it seems, before Steve will be challenging young Tim Krul to take over the number one position at Newcastle again.
Dan Gosling should be coming through around the same time-frame too.