By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Teenage defender Remie Streete has stepped up his recovery from the injury which cut his campaign short last season - and he has revealed how Steven Taylor has been helping him come to terms with the hardest period of his young career.
The 17-year-old centre-back landed awkwardly on his ankle while playing for the Reserves against Sunderland in March, ruling him out of the under-18s' Premier Academy League Group D title run-in.
But he started running at Newcastle's Benton training ground this week and has been working alongside Steven Taylor - himself on the road to full fitness following a ruptured Achilles tendon - in his rehabilitation.
Streete, who made his second-string debut shortly after his 16th birthday and was a regular at youth and Reserve level before his untimely setback, caught the eye of Alan Pardew last term and was invited to train with the senior squad on several occasions.
But he has had to take his recovery one step at a time and, after spending much of the summer on a state-of-the-art anti-gravity treadmill to build up his ankle muscles, the former Boldon School pupil knows he is finally nearing the finishing line.
"It's probably been one of the most frustrating times of my life, not being able to play football," he told nufc.co.uk. "It's been a pretty long road but I've started running again this week so I should be back training soon.
"There's never a great time to get injured but the way it happened, I didn't miss as many games as if it had happened in the middle of the season. I'm just focused on getting fit now and getting back playing again.
"I had two-and-a-half weeks off while the other lads got four or five weeks off, but it doesn't really bother me too much. The main thing is to play football, not go on holiday.
"Monday was my first running session - just light jogging and getting back into it, getting full weight onto it - and hopefully I can step it up towards the end of the week or the start of next week.
"It's feeling good. There are a few aches and pains in my body but that's just normal because I haven't done much in the last four months. Hopefully it'll keep progressing the way it has, keep getting better and get back to where I was before."
Taylor has also been working throughout the summer as he battles back from the injury he suffered last December, and the ex-England under-21 captain has taken Streete under his wing.
Both players are products of the United youth system - albeit nearly ten years apart - and Streete said: "He's been a great help. Obviously he's been injured as well and he knows where I'm coming from with coming through the Academy as well.
"We've been talking, nothing to do with football but helping me get my head around being injured and keeping mentally strong. He's been through it with his Achilles so he's been there and done it, and he's been giving me a bit of advice.
"There are other great centre-halves here who know what they're talking about but from his point of view, he knows what it's like to come through the Academy, what it's like to train with the first-team for that first couple of times; he knows everything about it, so whatever advice he can give me I'll take it on board."
And if ambitious Streete has his way, he'll be seeing a lot more of Taylor next season - and not in the treatment room.
"The aim last season was to play as many games as I could in the Reserves, so the next step is playing in the first-team," he said.
"Whether that's five minutes in the Europa League, a start or just being in the squad, I just want to get as much experience under my belt as I can and then see what happens from there.
"Hopefully it's a realistic goal and that's my aim. Obviously I'm going to have to start back in the Reserves, get my fitness and then just play well there and hopefully pick up where I left off."
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