By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
One of the biggest positives of United's pre-season tour of Germany has been the sight of a fully-fit Sylvain Marveaux pulling on the black and white striped shirt.
That is the view of first team coach Steve Stone, who believes the French winger is now completely over the groin injury which ruled him out for five months of the 2011/12 campaign, before a cameo comeback on the final day at Everton.
Marveaux was a late substitute in the Magpies' friendly victory over Monaco on Monday night, and could receive more game time when they face Fenerbahce in Austria this Saturday.
And, while stopping short of using the cliche about his return feeling like a new signing, Stone admits it is great to have the 26-year-old back involved and up to speed.
"Everyone knows that Sylvain had groin injuries the year before he joined us as well, but we have nailed it down, we have rehabbed him and it seems to have gone very well," Newcastle's coach told nufc.co.uk.
"He looked so much better against Monaco, even just in the 10-15 minutes he was on.
"He looked as if he was moving better - he wasn't as stiff or upright and was moving much better. That was really important to see, and when I spoke to Sylvain after the match he told me he felt so much better in himself.
"He's obviously a left-footer as well, and that helps the balance of our team, which will be important to us this season.
"Sylvain seems like he is getting his confidence back, he played some lovely stuff and looked very comfortable on the ball against Monaco.
"That's the Sylvain that we bought, so that has been a huge plus for us this tour."