​​Newcastle United defender Florian Lejeune has provided his fans with a positive injury update, suggesting he may be back in action by the end of 2018.

Lejeune suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury during pre-season and was initially expected to miss the majority, if not all, of the current ​Premier League season. However, he underwent surgery and is now well on the road to recovery.

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The Frenchman has recently been posting videos on his ​Instagram story which show him running on a treadmill, and ​the Newcastle Chronicle also captured his most recent post which shows Lejeune running outside for the first time since his injury, as well as kicking a ball.

The Chroncile's report details how Lejeune underwent surgery with Paolo Mariani, who has a positive track record of improving the recovery time of players who have suffered similar injuries to Lejeune. Rolando Aarons was operated on by Mariani in 2016, and returned to action only four months later.

During his time at ​Napoli, current Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez also sent Lorenzo Insigne to Mariani after Insigne suffered a similar injury, which allowed Insigne to return to action in less than six months.

Earlier this season, Benitez was asked about the time scale for Lejeune's return, and is quoted by The Newcastle Chronicle as saying: "Normally this injury, in the past, could be nine months. It depends on what is going on, but it was between six and nine months.

“Now, in our experience with this surgeon [Professor Mariani] in Italy, it takes less - normally between four and six months. It depends what is going on and if we have any complications.

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“Yes, for sure [we expect Lejeune to play again this season]. Last year we had Rolando, and he was fine in four months with the same surgeon.

“Normally, [he will be out for] between four and six months - if you don’t have any complications.”