SIEM de Jong’s nickname at Newcastle United is “Lucky” – as luck’s one thing he’s not had at the club!
And head coach John Carver believes the forward is due some good fortune on Tyneside after an injury-interrupted start to life at St James’s Park.
De Jong last week suffered a collapsed lung on the eve of his anticipated comeback against Crystal Palace – and is battling to play again this season.
The 26-year-old – who missed the first half of the campaign with a thigh injury – is recovering after undergoing surgery.
Carver, for his part, is refusing to put a timescale on de Jong’s comeback.
“The most important thing is how he feels,” said Carver.
“This was a big operation he had. So it’s really in his hands. We won’t force him before he is ready to come back.
“He’s such a positive guy he might be back quicker than anyone expects.
“He will be under no pressure. We will do everything right. The football club will do everything right to make sure everything is done for him properly.
“I went to see him in hospital and he was in good spirits, but, obviously, it’s a huge operation that he has had, and we have got to deal with it.
The operation has lessened the chance of de Jong – who suffered collapse lung while at Ajax – of suffering a recurrence.
Carver added: “They say once you have had the operation, then it shouldn’t come back again, so that’s good news.
“He is quite positive about it – it does help if the guy who has had the operation is really positive within himself, and he has been, so that’s great.”
Asked about de Jong’s nightmare season, Carver said: “His nickname is ‘Lucky’, isn’t it?
“He has had a tough time, but the pleasing thing from our point of view is he is such a good character and I know he will come back fitter and stronger from it.
“He’s not going to let it get him down, he’s a really positive guy. We will make him feel part of it. I will get him involved somewhere.”