SIEM de Jong left the field with mixed emotions after making a goalscoring comeback for Newcastle United.
De Jong – who had surgery on a collapsed lung in February – netted late in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Swansea City.
I’m glad to be back on the pitch. Hopefully, next time it’ll be for the pointsSiem de Jong
While the 26-year-old was relieved to finally be back on the pitch, he was bitterly disappointed at a result which left the club teetering above the Premier League’s relegation zone.
De Jong – whose last competitive goal had come for former club Ajax against Cambuur in March last year – will top up his fitness this week.
De Jong is expected to play 90 minutes for the Under-21s in their away fixture against Derby County (3pm kick-off).
The Under-21 Premier League match has been moved from Alfreton Town’s North Street home to the Championship club’s training ground.
But de Jong will NOT be fit enough to start away to Leicester City on Saturday.
United head coach Carver said: “I’m not sure he’s ready to start, but he could get longer than 20 (minutes) at Leicester.”
De Jong – who had a long spell out earlier in the campaign with a torn thigh muscle – has labelled this season as the “worst” of his career because of his injuries.
But he could yet make an important contribution to a team which has struggled for goals in the absence of the suspended Papiss Demba Cisse.
De Jong volleyed a cross from Jack Colback past Lukasz Fabianski two minutes from time.
“I was glad that I put it in,” he said. “I’m glad to be back on the pitch. Hopefully, next time it’ll be for the points.”
Reflecting on his comeback, de Jong added: “The most important thing was to get points, and we didn’t.
“I feel sad about that, but a little bit happy about being back on the pitch. It’s not about me, it’s about the team.”
Carver felt de Jong’s comeback was the main positive to come out of the the club’s seventh successive defeat.
“The shining light was getting him back on the pitch,” he said. “You saw the quality he has got.”