The Shields Gazette today have an excellent interview with center-back Florian Lejeune who is now back in the first team and playing like he’s never been away this season.
Florian picked up an ACL knee injury in late July and was operated on in Rome by world-famous surgeon Professor Paolo Mariani in August.
Under his guidance for the first month or two of recovery, Florian worked hard in Rome and then back in Newcastle.
He was back playing for the Newcastle U23 team after just four months
And now he is back in the Newcastle team as first choice and has played well for us since he returned.
He played on the left-hand side of the back three yesterday and put in a strong performance; he showed what an excellent defender he is – we’ve missed him.
Here’s a tweet he sent out yesterday after the huge 3-0 win against Cardiff – he’s alongside two-goal hero and fellow center-back Fabian Schar.
— Florian Lejeune (@lejeune_florian) January 19, 2019
This is what Florian has said in the Shields Gazette today:
“This is definitely the most difficult obstacle I’ve had to deal with in my career,”
“I’d had no major injuries, so it was very hard, very difficult. “But, at the end of the day, I’m not unhappy to have gone through it.”
“I had to work hard on my mental state and, having done that, it’s made me a lot stronger.” “It’s not something I wanted to do, but it’s made me a lot stronger.”
“It usually takes six to nine months before you can play, but I played after four months with the U-23s and then with the first team after five months.”
“So, yes, it has felt quite quick.”
“I was just very happy to get back on the field. I was satisfied with my game overall – especially so because I had no problems with my knee at all.”
“That’s a very difficult question (is he 100% fit?), because I feel 100% fit.”
“But I know that I’m going to have to play in some more matches in order to get up to the same level of fitness that I had last year.”
“I’ve missed out on five months of competition, and you know the team needs to be winning and needs to get more points.”
“What we need now is for everyone to do their best, and everyone work well together.”
It’s a testament to Florian’s character, temperament, and courage that he has come back into the side so soon and has seemed to stroll through the games.
The Frenchman has shown what an excellent buy he was at around £8M from Spanish club Eibar.
It’s great to have him back in the side.