Newcastle manager Alan Pardew sees the return of captain Steven Taylor as a huge boost for the new season.
The 26-year-old has been out for seven months after rupturing his Achilles tendon during the Magpies' 3-0 defeat to Chelsea last December, but the centre-back has now returned for pre-season training and hopes to be ready for the August 18 kick-off.
Pardew has hailed Taylor's recovery and expects him to return to his best for the upcoming campaign - with Newcastle having boasted an impressive defensive record before his setback last season.
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"Having Steven back fit for pre-season is a big boost for us. He did very well last season before his injury.
"He's an important player for us, and we want everyone fit for what's going to be a tough season.
"He's hoping to have an injury-free season, and hopefully he will."
After deciding against bolstering his defence in January, the 50-year-old will be hoping to build on his side's fifth-placed Premier League finish last term, with the club so far linked with Lille full-back Mathieu Debuchy and Twente central defender Douglas.