Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce has admitted Damien Duff's ankle injury was career-threatening and will not rush him back into action.
The 28-year-old Republic of Ireland international winger is gradually working his way back to fitness after damaging ankle ligaments in April.
Allardyce, as is his policy with all injured players, will not rush the former Blackburn and Chelsea man back, especially after the problems he has had since his £5million switch from Stamford Bridge last summer.
The Magpies manager told the Journal: "There are not many better wide players in the Premier League than Damien Duff, and it is up to us to get him back to the level he was a couple of years ago.
"If he is playing to his full potential, he would be an asset to any club in the Premier League. He was a wonderful player at Blackburn and Chelsea and he wants to show people what he is capable of at Newcastle.
"He had a frustrating time last season with injury and he wants to show people the real Damien Duff. He has been working extremely hard, but the injury he had was a career-threatening one. It was a really nasty injury. It has been a long and difficult recovery for him, but he is desperate to get back."