When Ki started the game on Saturday, it was his first game for Newcastle since he started the game in the 0-0 draw against Fulham on Saturday 22 December at St. James’ Park.
After that game, Ki had to report to the South Korean squad for the Asian Cup.
He returned from that tournament a month later on January 22nd injured.
He had picked up a hamstring injury after his first game, and that took a few weeks to clear up.
But Ki is now fit, and he will be needed in the remaining 8 games of the season with young midfield star Sean Longstaff out injured with a knee ligament injury.
Ki – has an opportunity to start again for Newcastle
The 30-year-old has now retired from International competition to concentrate on his Newcastle career, and he talked about his situation in the Chronicle today.
“I was out for two months and away from the pitch.”
“The injury occurred after the first game in the Asian Cup then I came back to training and got injured again.”
“So I had to come back to Newcastle which was very disappointing.”
“I never expected this and I was very depressed and disappointed.” “But this is the life of a footballer and you get injuries.”
“I couldn’t play until February and I was focused on getting back and waiting for my chance to play for Newcastle again.”
“I am not 100% fit yet but I will be better as I play more games.”
“I am just happy not to get injured and we won the game on my return.”
The South Korean midfielder joined Newcastle as a free agent when his Swansea contract expired last June 30.
Ki came on an initial two-year deal at St James’ Park, and he will be keen to extend that past June of next year.
This is an excellent opportunity for him to show Rafa what he can do for the Newcastle side.
Before he left for the Asian Cup last December, he was one of the starting central defenders.