RYAN Taylor has a big future at Newcastle United – on and off the pitch.
Taylor suffered an injury setback on his first Premier League start in 32 months on Saturday.
He felt his knee in the first half against QPR and left the field in tears.
However, Taylor – who spent more than two years on the sidelines after twice rupturing his cruciate ligament – is hopeful that the problem is not serious.
Taylor, accompanied by surgeon Dr Richard Steadman, had a scan on his knee, and the club’s medical team were today assessing the injury.
The 30-year-old impressed in midfield against QPR before breaking down.
And United manager Alan Pardew wants to keep Taylor – who scouted the opposition during his long spell out – beyond the end of the campaign, when his contract runs out.
“Whatever happens, we want him as part of the club,” said Pardew. “He has shown how important he is, even when he has not been playing.”
United lost momentum after Taylor’s withdrawal, and Pardew felt the players were affected by his injury given what he has been through since August 2012.
However, they recovered in the second half and won thanks to Moussa Sissoko’s 79th-minute strike.
“I could see the players were upset when Ryan went off, so I deliberately didn’t mention him at half time,” said Pardew. “It was something we had to park.
“It certainly did affect our mentality for a few minutes after.
“You could see us lose momentum. It is testimony to the players that we came out and performed that little bit quicker, for the second half.
“It was at the end of the game that we talked about Ryan. We are all worried for him.
“But he showed what an asset he can be on the pitch. I actually thought from that first half an hour, if we were going to win, Ryan would be at the heart of it. The two best chances early on fell to him.
“Everyone has got fingers crossed that it is not as bad.”
Taylor, inundated by messages of support on Twitter, moved to reassure fans by insisting the early indications were that he had not suffered a significant injury.
He tweeted: “Thank you all for your positive messages.
“I appreciate them all, just to let you know I have no major problem and I had to come off just to be on the safe side. I’ve worked so hard to get back. That’s why I got so emotional.”