Premier League

Alan Pardew keen to protect Newcastle defender Steven Taylor

Steven Taylor: Newcastle defender now back in action after injury

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Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is keen to protect Steven Taylor following the central defender's latest return from injury.

The 27-year-old suffered a hamstring problem in November but returned to the Magpies' team for the crucial wins at Aston Villa and Newcastle last week.

Taylor has a lengthy injury history with a ruptured Achilles tendon robbing him of the last five months of last season, while shoulder problems have interrupted his career on several occasions.

However, when fit, he has proved a key member of the side and Pardew has on more than one occasion put forward the former England U21 captain as a potential full international.

Pardew said: "He's an outstanding player. The only down-side has been the injuries, that's where you have to slightly have a disappointment with him, that he's just not played enough games in his career here.

"I am very, very conscious, with him and with my staff, that we protect him and try to give him a different regime where hopefully we can keep him fit - as when he is fit, there are not many better."

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