Our Spanish U21 star Mikel Merino has revealed he is still recovering from his back injury and is still not 100% fit.
That explains why he hasn’t played in the Newcastle first team too much of late as Rafa wants to give him time for his back to fully heal.
A fit Mikel Merino as we have seen – is a very good player for us – and he says he’s almost at 100% again physically.
Mikel also says it’s the worst injury he has had in his (short) career so far.
Mikel Merino – in action against Arsenal – 100% fit soon
This is what Mikel has said about his injury as reported in the Chronicle:
“I’ve had a lot of injuries during my career. The back, I think, is the worst one, because it affects a lot.”
“You cannot turn. You cannot sprint. You cannot jump. These are the things you cannot do.
“Sometimes it’s hard to play with these kind of injuries, because you feel like you can do 100% but you’re doing 50%, and nobody knows it.”
“It’s hard, but you have to carry on. A lot of players play with injuries and it’s part of the sport. I deal with it.”
“I had a lot of problems during the season with small injuries. The back injury, which I still have a little bit, is improving.”
“I feel much better. I’m almost at 100% physically. I’m feeling good in training. I feel I’m at a good level.”
“I’m happy to see myself play with my team-mates and my level in training.”
“I hope in a few weeks I don’t have any problems and will be 100%.
“The manager and all the team-mates and the staff are always trying to help me by giving advice or giving encouragement.”
“It helps to have a good environment.”
The good news is the games are now spread out and so Mikel should be able to get 100% fit very soon and within a few games.
And when he is fit he proved in the early part of the season that he can be a game changer for Newcastle.
Merino cost us around £6M from Borussia Dortmund and that was a terrific acquisition for the club.
He is another player who can help us survive in the Premier League this season.
And he’s a smashing young lad with a great temperament.