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20/02/2001

Nikos returns to Newcastle

Nikos returns to Newcastle
After a long absence from the fields Nikos is finally back. Having been seriously injured and operated on his knee, today Nikos returned to Newcastle ready to join the team. He went through a very intensive rehabilitation and fitness program and he is expected to be on the first team squad within a month.

Leaving Greece last night he admitted: "I can't wait to pull on a black and white shirt again. I am meeting Bobby Robson as soon as I land and we will work out the best way forward. The injury has held up well but I won't rush things. I've come this far six weeks ahead of schedule and it's important I don't suffer any last-minute setbacks.

"I have been looking forward to this day since my operation on October but I am not going to pretend that the last few weeks have been easy. It has taken a lot of courage and mental strength to keep going but just lately I have been able to kick a ball again. That feeling was great and now I'm ready to reach my final goal."

Dabizas agrees that caution is the key word but he added: "The prognosis is good and as far as the medical people in Greece can tell there is nothing wrong with my knee. For the last two months I've been working very hard and I have felt no pain. The injury has responded very well and it's only a matter of time before I reach 100 per cent fitness."

Dabizas added that he had already been in touch with Robson and the Newcastle medical team to give them the good news. "The doctor and the physiotherapists will decide when the time is right and I'm looking forward to discussing the details of my final programme this week. It was a very serious injury and although I want to play again sooner rather than later it is not really down to me. Now that I'm so close to making my comeback I don't want to tempt fate by pencilling in a date when I might return to the first team. Whenever that is it will be the right time for me and the manager"

 

232 Appearances in England (175 for Newcastle United, 18 for Leicester in the Premier League and 39 for Leicester in the Championship). Total League-Cup-Europe appearances 550. National Team appearances 70. Goals total 40.