Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara is looking forward to returning to full training on Monday, after spending the current week working with the physio as a precaution against further injury.

Turning 23 in December, Haidara last played in the win over Aston Villa in February. Forced off in that game with an injury, a subsequent operation on his knee problem ruled him out for the final three months of last season.

The French full-back says that he has enjoyed his summer and that it is important to get rest because the ‘season is long and hard’. Which a few people might find ironic due to Massadio Haidara only having started 17 Premier League matches in his two and a half years on Tyneside.

Fingers crossed that injuries stay away from the player this coming season but he is one of any number of players where the jury is still out on whether they are good enough for the Premier League.

With Davide Santon sold and no replacements as yet for the Italian full-back and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, numbers are short at the back.

With so many other positions desperately needing to be strengthened, it looks sure to be between Haidara and Paul Dummett as to who plays on the left.

Massadio Haidara:

“I have four days of extra training this week with the physio before I’m back on Monday for full training with the squad.

“It’s just to be safe, because they want to be sure I’m ready when I get back to full training.”

Important to rest:

“I’m well excited, because I had a four month injury. It was long and I had a break with some holidays so it was good for the head – I spent time on the beach and I enjoyed it.

“It is important to rest because the season is long and hard, so you have to have some rest.”

Good to be back:

“But now we have to work hard because the new season starts soon and I’m happy to be back.”

“When something is new, you are excited to start. We have a new head coach and I am excited to be back.”

Steven Taylor and Cheick Tiote are also reported to be in a similar position to Haidara, currently working away from the main group of players as they also return from long-term injury.

  • toonterrier

    I was under the impression that you had to prove yourself capable of carrying out your duties to a high standard to be called a star. So far at Newcastle he has been a passenger in the time he was here. Like to think he could come good under a different coach but have my doubts. Still we will be pushing for a top tennish finish or at least secure another year in the top league. What we really need is another five year plan as the last one worked so well. Medication time.

  • cwtoon88

    Far superior to Dummett and has a lot of potential though he has to improve defensively and prove he isnt made of glass

  • Duke Fame

    Haidara is a good player with a lot of potential but he has to stay fit. When fit, there is no need to replace him. I almost think the Ashley Cole rumour would make sense, having him would mean Haidara does not have to play 2-3 games in a week and if Haidara wants to learn, there is nobody better to base his game on.

  • TeamGB

    I also believe he has potential, he has strong defensive and attacking attributes and has been unlucky with injuries, he needs to demonstrate he can handle the physicality by playing a lot more games, he needs a good run. Compared to Dummet? Close call that one…..neither has gone beyond the call of duty yet…..

  • Will Richardson

    ‘ Star’ now that’s depressing

  • Stephen Sheppard

    i like him, not the greatest defender, but got some pace going forward.