De Jong will ‘return stronger’

The Holland international has managed only three appearances for the Magpies since his ??6m summer arrival from Ajax. He was on the verge of returning from a five-month lay-off with a thigh injury when he suffered his latest misfortune.

And Carver confirmed that joining De Jong on the sidelines is defender Paul Dummett, who will be out for up to three months with a knee injury.

It was the second time De Jong had been admitted to hospital with the complaint, but Newcastle have been told by the medics that the procedure he underwent should address the issue once and for all.

Carver said: “They say once you have had it, if you have the operation, then it shouldn’t come back again, so that’s good news.

“He is quite positive about it – it does help if the guy who has had the operation is really positive within himself, and he has been, so that’s great.

“For everybody, it’s a huge blow, but more importantly for the boy himself because he is such a great lad. We have not given a guideline on not coming back – the most important thing for me is his health, and he will decide when he is ready to come back.

“He will be under no pressure.”

It has proved a hugely frustrating first season on Tyneside for De Jong, who was signed to help restore the link between midfield and attack which was largely severed by Yohan Cabaye’s departure for Paris St Germain in January last year.

Carver admitted: “His nickname is ‘Lucky’, isn’t it? He has had a tough time. But the pleasing thing from our point of view is he is such a good character and I know he will come back fitter and stronger from it.

“He’s not going to let it get him down, he’s a really positive guy. He’s coming in tomorrow, actually, to see the guys, which will be the first time since he left hospital, and we are looking forward to seeing him.

“We will make him feel part of it. I will get him involved somewhere. He won’t be able to do the physical work, but I might lean on him for one or two things, as we did in the past with Ryan Taylor.”

De Jong is one of three senior men to head for the treatment room with Cheick Tiote having returned from Africa Cup of Nations because of ankle injury which is likely to keep him out for some time.

Dummett could be out for up to three months with a knee problem suffered in an accident clash with Crystal Palace’s Yannick Bolasie.

The 50-year-old said: “Well, the good news is he [Dummett] doesn’t have to have an operation, but he is out for between 10 and 12 weeks.

“It’s quite ironic because Yannick Bolasie, who I know really well, rang me and apologised. He said, ‘It was an accident, John’, and I said, ‘I know it was. It wasn’t your fault’. He was concerned about it and it was just a clash of knees, a total accident, a freak accident.”