Paul Dummett had to kick every ball from the sidelines when Manchester City visited St James’s Park.
But the defender will be leading from the back when Newcastle United take on Liverpool on Saturday night.
Dummett was injured when Rafa Benitez’s side beat Premier League leaders Man City 2-1 in January.
However, the 27-year-old is now a fixture in Benitez’s starting XI – and took the captain’s armband when Jonjo Shelvey went off against Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend.
Liverpool will need to win to be certain of taking their title challenge into the final weekend of the season.
“We could have a massive say in what happens,” said Dummett. “We want to do the best we can – the same as (at Brighton). Cardiff will have been wanting us to win. We tried our best.
“We’re professionals, and we want to do well for ourselves. We’ll be preparing this week and hopefully get the three points.”
Newcastle’s win over Man City gave the team the belief that they could pull away from relegation trouble.
Asked if that result was a turning point, Dummett said: “Yeah, definitely. Not many teams have beat them this season, so it’s credit to the players that beat them.
“It was a little bit of a turning point in our season, and we picked up some results after that and went on a bit of a run with the home results we got. It’s going to be a difficult game, as Liverpool have only lost one game this season. We’ll have to be at our best to beat them.”
Dummett believes that 13th-placed United are playing with more “freedom” now that they are safe.
“It’s a much better feeling,” said the Wales international. “We’ve been in the position Brighton were in before, and it’s never nice playing with the pressure.
“It’s a much better feeling playing with freedom, and the first half showed that. We kept the ball really well.”
Brighton came from behind to claim a point from a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium last Saturday.
“I think it was pretty disappointing after our first-half performance and the possession we had,” said Dummett.
A cross from Dummett led to Ayoze Perez’s goal.
“I don’t normally do that, so it was nice to be involved in the goal,” he said.