Haris Vuckic

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Next season can't come soon enough for Slovenian starlet Haris Vuckic after he missed most of the last campaign through injury.

He ruptured the cruciate ligament in his left knee towards the end of a Barclays Under-21 Premier League clash against Aston Villa at Villa Park in October and has not played since.

It was a cruel blow for a player who had already seen his young career blighted by spells on the treatment table, particularly as he had been regularly involved under Alan Pardew and scored his first senior goal against Atromitos last August.

But the Ljubljana-born playmaker - still only 20 years old - resumed training towards the end of the term and will be fighting fit by the time the squad report back from their holidays next month.

And he told nufc.co.uk: "I'm looking forward to pre-season and next season.

"I'm fit now, thank God. Everything's okay. It's been a long few months but now I'm fit and that's the most important thing.

"I've had a lot of bad luck in the past but hopefully now it's finished so I can be fit and focused just on football, playing games and training hard and I hope the gaffer's going to give me a chance."

Vuckic's knee has healed to the extent that he felt he could have played against Arsenal on the final day of last season, but he was never in contention to face the Gunners as the Club and player were determined to take no chances.

"There was no point in risking it," he admitted to the Club's official website. "I started training the week before the end of the season but usually long term injuries take two or three weeks of training to get that feeling before you can play.

"So there was no point in risking it for the last game. I'm just focusing on next season and pushing on towards that."

Click here to buy a new Newcastle United change shirt with Vuckic's name and number on the back