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Newcastle United talent Liam Gibson returns to action after 2017-18 illness hell

Newcastle United

Newcastle United talent Liam Gibson returns to action after 2017-18 illness hell

The left-back missed all of last season with ulcerative colitis and a blood clot but is now back with Newcastle United’s under-23s.

Newcastle United fans had plenty to be pleased with from their opening day performance against Tottenham Hotspur. Whilst they may have lost the game, it was a performance that will give the Toon Army hope ahead of the new season.

But whilst the Newcastle first-team looks settled, there is one player in the under-23 field who will be hoping to force his way into Rafa Benitez’s thinking in the near future.

Liam Gibson started his first competitive game for Newcastle’s under-23s since May 2017 against West Brom yesterday evening.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Last May the left-back was looking ready to make the breakthrough at Newcastle. Former under-23 boss Peter Beardsley was saying he could make it to the top. He had just come off the back of an excellent 2016-17 campaign with the Newcastle youngsters and a first-team place seemed to be around the corner.

 

“If someone said you’d be back training a year today, I would have laughed at them. I was that depressed at the time, I didn’t even want to play football anymore. I was saying to my parents, my girlfriend and my brother, ‘that’s it – I’ll never be able to recover from this’.

“To be training and playing now is kind of surreal. I just feel dead lucky.”

– Liam Gibson on his return to action


However, last season was a nightmare for the youngster. Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, the same condition that once afflicted Darren Fletcher so dramatically, Gibson underwent four operations last season and did not play a single game. A blood clot in his calf also laid him out for a period of time.

But he played 89 minutes yesterday as he continues his comeback. Newcastle fans will hope it is just the start and Gibson can push into the first-team one day.

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