NEWCASTLE United keeper Tim Krul has vowed to be fit for the first game of the Premier League season on August 19.
The Dutch star is recovering from a dislocated shoulder, and it had been feared that Krul would not be ready for the start of the new campaign.
But the 25-year-old aims to play in two of the Magpies’ pre-season friendlies, and he hopes to be ready for Newcastle’s visit to Manchester City on Monday, August 19.
“I’ll be fit for the first game of the season,” he told BBC Radio Newcastle.
“I’ll try to get a couple of friendly games to get myself fully up to speed.
“At the moment, I’m right on schedule.”
Krul – who suffered the injury in April’s Tyne-Wear derby defeat – returned early for pre-season training in a bid to be ready for the club’s opening game.
Newcastle kick off their pre-season campaign at Motherwell on Tuesday night. Pardew’s players then fly to Portugal, where they will play two low-key games.
Newcastle’s only home warm-up game is the fixture against Braga on August 10.
And should Krul be involved against the Portuguese side, he would hope to be in Pardew’s starting XI at the City of Manchester Stadium.
The fixture has been put back for a Monday kick off for live broadcast by Sky Sports (8pm).
United’s visit to Sunderland has been put back to Sunday, October 27 (4pm kick-off), also by Sky. Five other fixtures have also been changed, two of them – the home games against Liverpool and Chelsea – for screening by new channel BT Sport.
Meanwhile, we revealed yesterday that former Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper was wanted by Hull City.
The 38-year-old’s 20-year association with United ended last month. He is hoping to play on for two more years before moving into coaching.
While Harper waits to find a club, he has been working as a pundit on BBC Radio Newcastle’s Total Sport show. Asked if he wanted to stay in the top flight, he said: “That definitely appeals to me.
“It’s not just Hull, there are another couple of clubs as well.”
Hull manager Steve Bruce wants to bring in an experienced goalkeeper to challenge Allan McGregor for a place between the posts.