Shola Ameobi has returned from hip surgery in America and is hoping to return to action for Newcastle at the start of next season.
The striker travelled to Colorado last month to undergo surgery on his long-standing hip problem at the clinic of renowned specialist Marc Philippon.
Ameobi is expected to be sidelined for the rest of the current campaign, but he is confident he will be ready for the start of next term.
"The ultimate target is to get back for next season. That is my goal and I think that is a realistic target," he said.
"I am 99 percent sure I will be right for the start of next season."
Ameobi will return to America in eight weeks for a check-up, and in the meantime he will do non-weight-bearing work in the gym.
He admits it is a relief to be on the road to recovery, but believes he should have perhaps sorted the problem out earlier.
"I have not really been at liberty to talk about getting my hip sorted while I was playing because people expected me to be out there and giving everything I have got," he told Newcastle's official website.
"Now I have had it done, I can look back with hindsight and think `Why didn't I get it done earlier?'
"But the fact I was eager to play and the fact that the club needed me to play did not make that possible.
"But I look back now and I can only be thankful I did get a chance to play because players have been out a long, long time with this injury."