Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff has ruled out a return before the end of the season, The Chronicle reports.
Longstaff has been missing with a knee ligament injury and there was a chance that Newcastle fans might have seen him towards the end of this season.
But the 21-year-old has vowed to come back stronger in pre-season, ready for the 2019/20 season, rather than rushing back before the end of this campaign.
However, Longstaff confirmed that the Magpies do not want to risk rushing him back and making things worse for the long-term.
He told The Chronicle: “The injury is getting better, I’m feeling stronger every day, and hopefully I’ll be back ready to start pre-season and prepare for the new campaign.
“I think the goal has to be getting back for the start of next season, rather than maybe pushing it for this campaign. The club probably won’t take any risks with me, and that’s good for me because I need to make sure I’m fully fit.
“In the grand scheme of things, I’m only 21; hopefully I’ve got a long career ahead of me, so it’s just about making sure we get this recovery period right and, depending on how long it takes, that’s how long it has to take.”
Longstaff burst onto the scene this season and was set for an England under-21 call-up before his injury against West Ham last month.
The youngster was keeping experienced professionals like Mo Diame, Ki Sung-yeung and Jonjo Shelvey out of the team so Newcastle fans will hope he can return revitalised.