Massadio Haidara hits comeback trail at Newcastle 11 months after last first-team outing

Massadio Haidara

Massadio Haidara

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Massadio Haidara made his comeback from long-term injury last night.

The defender played 45 minutes for Newcastle United’s Under-23s in their 1-1 draw against Stoke City.

My meniscus was injured twice and it was hard, but now I am happy to be back in training.

Callum Roberts netted a late equaliser for Peter Beardsley’s side in front of 256 fans at Whitley Park.

Haidara last played a competitive game for the club in October last year.

The 23-year-old, signed from French club Nancy in January 2013, went on to have knee surgery, but broke down late in the campaign.

But Haidara made a successful comeback against Stoke.

United manager Rafa Benitez said: “He is fine and he is training every day.”

Speaking last month after returning to the training field, Haidara said: “I feel really happy, because it has been a long wait.

“My meniscus was injured twice and it was hard, but now I am happy to be back in training.

“It is not full training, but to be with the lads on the pitch is an amazing feeling.

“It has been very, very long, but I have had good friends and family around me to keep my head up and try to do good work and to be back as good as possible.

“I think that is the key, because if you are lonely and you have no one next to you, your head is down and it is hard to get up.”

Newcastle winger Roberts – who replaced Haidara for the second half – equalised for Peter Beardsley’s side.

Roberts’ goal cancelled out a first-half strike from Julien Ngoy.

Meanwhile, Beardsley’s United side have been entered into the Central League Cup.

Newcastle have been grouped with Sheffield United, Hartlepool United, Rotherham United and Bradford City.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Woodman; Williams, Satka, Good, Haidara (Roberts, 46); Barlaser, Hunter (Newberry, 69); Holmes, Longstaff, Gibson; Charman.