Newcastle United midfielder opens up on ‘soul destroying’ injury blow following further surgery
Hayden missed the second half of last season at Newcastle due to a knee injury before joining Championship side Norwich City on a season-long loan in the summer. The midfielder was quickly hit by a fresh injury blow shortly after signing for The Canaries, one that would rule him out until October as he required further surgery.
After returning to Newcastle briefly to work on his rehabilitation earlier this season, Hayden went on to make eight starts for Norwich in the Championship before succumbing to further issues with his knee. The 27-year-old is now facing another spell on the sidelines after undergoing another procedure on his knee.
Hayden admitted his injury troubles over the past 12 months have been ‘soul destroying’ as he posted a statement on social media.
"Medically and ethically I had to stop as of the weekend as it was no longer sustainable,” Hayden said. “I just want to thank Mr. Tim Spalding for the procedure to fix the long-term problem.
"Ever since coming back from the last injury, it's not been 100% fixed. Having to aspirate my knee of 50-60ml of fluid every three days to be available for games, training twice a week in order for my knee not to swell to the point where I couldn't play on match day.
"It's been a soul destroying feeling, not being able to play like the player I was a year ago and the player ultimately the club signed, but nobody more so than myself is frustrated at the cards I've been dealt since joining Norwich City on loan. Nobody could have foreseen it, but that's football at its most ruthless.
"I accept criticism of my performances in games from media/fans etc. I'm big enough to take it, but when people question my character/mentality, or if I want to be at the football club and give my all to it, I will not accept that.
"The extent myself and the medical staff have been to over the last few months to get me simply available has been above and beyond.
"I look forward to working with the new management staff the club employ and focusing on trying to achieve the aim of promotion, which is very much still possible. See you soon."
Norwich have an obligation to make Hayden’s loan permanent providing certain ‘performance-related criteria’ are met during the 2022-23 Championship campaign. It is understood that those criteria have not been met at this stage as Hayden looks to make an impact at Carrow Road before the end of the season.
As it stands, the player remains contracted to Newcastle until the summer of 2026 having signed a new six-year contract at the club back in 2020. Hayden signed for Newcastle from Arsenal in 2016 and played a key role in helping the club make an immediate return to the Premier League by winning the Championship.
He has played 171 times for The Magpies, scoring seven goals. His last appearance came in a 4-0 defeat against Manchester City at St James’s Park in December 2021.