Kevin Nolan vows to come back even stronger

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KEVIN Nolan is confident his short-term pain will be Newcastle United’s long-term gain.

Nolan’s season came to a premature end last week after he had an operation on a niggling ankle problem.

The decision was made for Nolan to have surgery – and miss the final two games of the season – after the club secured Premier League status for another season.

While disappointed at missing the Chelsea and West Brom fixtures, the 28-year-old – who will end the season as Newcastle’s top-scorer with 12 goals – felt the call was the right one.

Nolan arrived at St James’s Park from Bolton in January, 2009 on the back of an operation on the same ankle, and this season’s problem stems from his early return to action that campaign.

However, as his ankle will be given time to heal this time, Nolan’s hopeful he’ll be ready to join in the first day of pre-season training in early July.

“Basically, I’ve had a longstanding problem where I was getting treatment day in day out, to get out on the training field and play every week,” Nolan said.

“There was a lot of scar tissue because I’ve had the previous two operations, and I’ve come back too early.

“We just really wanted to give it the best time to heal and give myself the best chance that I won’t be going through these problems next season.

“Hopefully, that’s the end of it. I also had a bit of an injection in the back of my knee, which has been a bit of a problem over the last three or four months of the season. That seems to have settled down.

“We took the opportunity with us being safe. The gaffer made the final decision, and between him and the medical staff, they decided it would be the best opportunity to be back and raring to go on the first day of pre-season.”