It was revealed yesterday that Jamaal Lascelles has been playing for about four months and probably longer with a groin problem and he has had to play through the pain barrier during that time.
Fans have criticized the captain this season for some poor performance, but all was forgiven yesterday when we were told just how difficult it’s been for Jamaal, who has shown tremendous courage and plain guts, which is fitting for a Newcastle caption.
And after Jamaal was interviewed yesterday on the Newcastle web-site it seems to have been even longer than four months that he’s been playing with pain.
Rafa Benitez trusts his captain Jamaal Lascelles completely
Lascelles was due to undergo surgery last night – a double hernia operation – and he will definitely be fully fit for the start of pre-season on Monday, July 3rd.
Jamaal has now become a bit of a hero and we need some of those after the last three seasons of incompetence, but with Rafa at the helm of the club the more we look back on what he and our lads have achieved this season the more proud we become.
And the man who made it all possible was Mr. Rafa Benitez – the leader of Newcastle United.
It’s really tough in the Championship these days with much more competition than seven years ago and that’s something Sunderland are going to find out very quickly.
At the moment it’s a great time as we await the final game of the season against Barnsley at St. James’ Park and reflect back on a job well done by Newcastle United.
It’s what we were all hoping and praying for when this long season started last August and we lost our first two games!
This is what Jamaal has said on the Newcastle website:
“Five or six months ago, I started feeling my groin. I thought it was a bit of tightness, or whatever, but I was really struggling with it.”
“Every day in training, I’d probably train at about 50% – I couldn’t really run, or use my left foot.
“I spoke to the medical staff, and the manager, and it’s not something that can get worse – if you grit your teeth and manage the pain, you can get through it.
“I just thought, ‘We’re in a position here where we can get promoted’, and obviously – being the captain – I wanted to be involved. The manager trusts me and he wants me to play.
“I’ve had a gym programme for four or five months now – you can’t heal it, but you can manage it by doing that. I’ve focused on that every day.
“I’ve probably not helped myself this season, in some areas, but that’s the sacrifice you make, and I’m willing to make it.”
“It’s helped the team, and now I can get this sorted in time for pre-season.
“It has been tough – there have been times where I have had head loss because of how painful it’s been.
“Sometimes, it hasn’t done me any justice because you play how you train. If I’m in training, and I’m just jogging about, it can show on the pitch on a matchday.
“Hernias can be different for different people. I think Alan Shearer once had a hernia and he managed to play nine days later.”
“One of the young boys, Jamie Sterry, has had one and he took it really well – he trained again after four weeks.”
“It’s the end of the season and I can rest over the summer a little bit. The first couple of weeks, I’ll just be walking and doing a few different movements, I can’t imagine I’ll be doing anything mad.
“If we weren’t already up, I’d still be trying to get through it and trying to play, but the job has been done, and now I can look after myself and better myself for next season.”
The fact there were other center-backs in Grant Hanley and Chancel Mbemba available, but Rafa wanted Lascelles in the Newcastle side shows just how much the manager trusts his captain.
It also shows that maybe Hanley and Mbemba could even be sold this summer, if Rafa can get two top center-backs through the door before September rolls around.
Jamaal has still become a better player this season, but next season watch out – because hopefully he will be 100% fit all season long and will be training at 100% – not the 50% he was forced to train at this season because of his hernia.
It’s a great story for Newcastle fans and just what we need – it shows the types of players we now have at the club.
Players who are completely and totally committed to Newcastle United .
Just like the fans.
We love it!!