Shola Ameobi is confident he will return a better player following career saving hip surgery.
The striker struggled for well over a year with the problem, before going under the knife in November.
He is closing in on a return to full fitness and showed his sharpness with a goal during Newcastle reserves' win over Middlesbrough on Tuesday night.
Ameobi was pleased to get the game under his belt and is adamant he will return to top form.
"It was good to get a run-out and I felt really good," he told the club's official website. "This certainly looks like the end of my hip problems and I'm confident I'll come back a better player for it."
Andy Carroll netted a hat-trick against their North East rivals and Ameobi feels the giant teenager has a bright future.
He added: "I was delighted for Big Andy, he's took his three goals really well and I think he's got a big future at the club."