Tim Krul is ready to take another big step forward in his comeback from injury.
The Newcastle United goalkeeper, on a season-long loan at Ajax, ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament playing for Holland against Kazakhstan in October last year.
Krul – who signed a one-year extension to his contract keeping him at St James’s Park until the summer of 2018 before he joined the Dutch club – is back on the field in Amsterdam.
The 28-year-old – who made his competetitive bow for Newcastle in a UEFA Cup tie against Palermo a decade ago – made what Ajax described as an “unofficial debut” for the club in a friendly against Achilles ’29 last week.
Krul kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 victory.
After the match, Krul said on Twitter: “Good to get my first 90 minutes.
“Friendly game, clean sheet. Hard work continues.”
Krul, having reported no ill-effects from the game, is pencilled in to play a reserve game next week as he works his way towards a first-team challenge at Ajax, who trail Eredivise leaders Feyenoord by two points.
Newcastle signed Krul from De Haag in 2005.
It turned out to be an astute capture. Krul, the club’s No 1, has made 185 first-team appearances for United. He also famously came off the bench for Holland in the 2014 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Newcastle have been drawn away to Portsmouth in the third round of the FA Youth Cup.
The tie, set to be played at Fratton Park, must be played on or before December 17.
United were knocked out of the competition by AFC Wimbledon last season.