Having limped on for the better part of a year with hip injury Shola went under the knife at the back end of 2006 and looks set to come back, like Michael Owen, ahead of schedule before the end of the season. Speaking to Sport magazine he spoke about the injury and his hopes for the rest of our season:
"It's been very frustrating indeed, mainly because I knew I needed to step up and fill the hole left by Alan Shearer, so it was going to be a big season for me. But as I say, I saw it coming and all I can do is work on getting in perfect shape for next season. At this level you can't be going into games fearing for what might happen, you have to go in and be fully focused on playing your game. Obviously I couldn't play my normal game and the Newcastle fans weren't seeing the best of me.
It's been tough for me and for them, but having the operation was a relief because it got to the stage where if I had played on, it could have ended my career. I have to think about life after football and being able to walk normally once I've hung up my boots.
I think a place in the top six is definitely still within our reach. I'm confident we can get there. We know we should be up there and we know we can bridge the gap and push the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.'
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