FORGOTTEN man Dan Gosling hopes his injury problems are behind him after spending the summer working hard on his fitness.
While his Newcastle United team-mates returned for pre-season training this week after the best part of two months off, Gosling reported back having already begun his preparations.
The 21-year-old was signed by former boss Chris Hughton last summer while he was still recovering from a cruciate knee injury suffered playing for Everton against Wolves in March last year.
It meant his debut was put on hold until January, when he played the last few minutes of the derby against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
That was to be the only sight the Newcastle support got of Gosling, however, as a reaction to the knee injury meant his comeback was put on hold.
In a bid to strengthen his leg and improve his fitness, Gosling travelled to Orlando last month for some intensive training with an American specialist, who had helped Magpies team-mate Alan Smith recover from his horrific leg break while at Manchester United.
And the Devon-born midfielder believes the extra work has already started to pay off. He said: “I only got back on Sunday, I was there for two weeks and it was very intensive training.
“I feel really good for it, and it will help me in the long run. I was in Orlando, and while that may sound like a bit of a jolly, I can tell you it wasn’t.
“It was training three times a day.
“It was tough when I was there, but now I feel really happy for doing the work, I already feel better for it. I had a personal trainer who usually works with NBA players.”
Gosling is now all set to join in full training with the United squad after they returned to their Benton training HQ this week. And he has already set his sights on getting some pitch time in the pre-season friendlies, which kick off at Darlington next Friday.
He said: “I feel ready. This is the best I have felt since my injury.
“I feel really good, and I’m happy to get amongst it with the lads again now. Last year was a tough year, and I hope I will never have to do it again.
“It was a tough year, and made me stronger. Now I feel ready to come back and play now.
“I’m going to be in full training straight away as soon as we start. I will be in with the lads, so I’m happy about that, I can’t wait to get started.”