Ryan Taylor and James Perch

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor

 

James Perch has backed close friend and teammate Ryan Taylor to make a successful return from his injury hell, paying tribute to the popular United defender.

Taylor hasn't kicked a ball since suffering a cruciate injury against Atromitos last August and, having been agonisingly close to a first team return this month, has now suffered a similar, further injury.

The versatile former Wigan and Tranmere man is expected to be ruled out of the entire 2013/14 campaign, and Perch revealed the full support of the Magpies' dressing room is with Taylor as he embarks on the first steps of another long road to recovery.

"I was with him when he got the bad news - I was having dinner with him and there when the doctor called," Perch told nufc.co.uk.

"It's terrible news and everyone feels so bad for him. You don't wish an injury like that on anyone, let alone two in the space of a year.

"He did everything he could to get back and worked the hardest I've ever seen any injured player work to get back. Ryan was always in the gym and you never heard him moan once.

"I know how hard it can be to be injured for a long time, having been out for six months myself once. You can lose your head if you're not careful but Tayls has stuck at it and done more than required to get back.

"We're all here for him. We will support him and check he is okay. It's going to be a long road for him now and we will be there every step of the way."

During his time on Tyneside, Taylor has created some memorable moments - not least a Tyne-Wear derby winner at Sunderland and a goal of the season contender against Everton.

And Perch is confident there will be plenty more to come in the future.

"It will be fantastic to see Ryan pull on the black and white stripes again, whenever that is," he said.

"It would be great if that happens next season but, if not, then the season after. There's no rush and he has to make sure he is ready and that the knee is strong."

Email your messages of support for Ryan Taylor to website@nufc.co.uk and we will pass them on...