Netherlands international left-back Jetro Willems saw a cruciate ligament injury cut short his season-long loan at Newcastle United in January, and it remains to be seen if he will ever play for the Magpies again.
The 26-year-old returned to his parent club Eintracht Frankfurt afterwards and his rehabilitation and recovery have gone well so far.
While the injury ruled him out of the campaign, some reports claimed Willems could be out of action until next year, but the Dutchman has denied them and he is eyeing a return to action in August.
“I feel really good. The knee feels better and better, I’m on the right track, looking ahead. All is well. I work on many different areas, not just the knee, but whole body,” Willems told Eintracht’s official website.
“Everything is going according to plan, I’ll return in August. Reports that it would take longer or even until 2021 are simply wrong. I hope to be able to play in front of fans again, but I also know that it will be difficult to know when.
“I had a good time in Newcastle up until my injury and faced the toughest of opponents like reigning Champions League winner Liverpool. I became a footballer for these games. Before, I only knew of such teams from the television.The fans are only a meter away from the field; everyone is close together; I had never known that before.”
Newcastle immediately replaced him with Danny Rose, with the Tottenham Hotspur star signing on loan till the end of the campaign.
It remains to be seen what the immediate future holds for both loanees with the club set to have new owners in the coming days amid talks of a £300 million takeover from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Willems told Newcastle fans back in January that he hopes to play for the club again, and it will be interesting to see what happens.
— Jetro willems (@JetroWillems_15) January 20, 2020
He scored twice and assisted twice in 19 league games for the Toons and boss Steve Bruce was definitely starting to contemplate making a permanent move for his signature before injury struck.