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Thursday 15 December 2011

Williamson hands Newcastle timely boost

Magpies defender on brink of first-team return to help ease injury crisis

Mike Williamson played 29 times for Newcastle in the Barclays Premier League last season

Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson has handed the Magpies a timely boost with his return from ankle and knee injuries.

The 28-year-old centre-back has only played once in the Barclays Premier League this season after limping off in the Carling Cup match against Scunthorpe in August.

But he played 45 minutes for the club's reserves against Bolton on Wednesday and, with regular centre-halves Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini both out injured, Williamson could make his first-team return at home to Swansea on Saturday.

"I feel completely fine, it reminded me of what I've been missing"
- Mike Williamson

"I feel completely fine," said Williamson. "That was the plan - to play 45 minutes, to get myself back in and try to get the cobwebs out and then train on Thursday and Friday.

"It reminded me of what I've been missing. It was good and I enjoyed it. It was great to get the boots back on and now that I'm back, hopefully I can just get fitter.

"Injuries are frustrating but it's just part and parcel of football. It has been nice watching the lads do so well. It's been really good to see the team doing so well and enjoying all the plaudits that they deserve from working so hard."

Taylor is out for the season with an Achilles injury and Coloccini has suffered from a thigh problem, with both players missing the 4-2 defeat at Norwich last weekend.

Williamson is keen to get back as soon as possible, but says he will not risk getting injured again.

"I'll accelerate it as quickly as possible, but not to the detriment of anything," he added.

"But my knee and my ankle are completely fine now, so it's just about getting the minutes under my belt and as much fitness and running as I can."

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Key Points

  • Defender Williamson has been out since August
  • Taylor and Coloccini have also picked up injuries
  • Williamson could return for match against Swansea