Tim Krul will return from injury next season physically stronger than ever, according to Newcastle's goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman.
The Netherlands international is not expected to be fit until the beginning of the 2013-14 campaign after dislocating a shoulder, that required surgery, during the Tyne-Wear derby in April.
Despite the setback, however, Woodman is predicting another solid season from the Magpies' No. 1, who picked up the Player of the Year award from the Newcastle United Supporters' Trust last term.
"Tim was brilliant last year," Woodman told the Evening Chronicle. "Again, I thought we worked well together, Tim and I. I kind of strike up friendships with these guys. I think it is important. That is maybe slightly different to other coaches. Tim has bought into me and I have bought into Tim.
"He will come back next year and his shoulder will be fine. We will have two very good goalkeepers at Newcastle [including Rob Elliot], not counting the ones coming through. He [Krul] has been fantastic, particularly in two of the games in Europe and the league. He has been brilliant.
"He had a stop-start season and you cannot really say they were niggly injuries. They were big injuries, particular the elbow injury. He played through that."
In the absence of Krul, former Charlton goalkeeper Elliot earned an opportunity to impress manager Alan Pardew.
Jak Alnwick, who was called into the first-team squad towards the end of last season, has now been elevated to third choice goalkeeper, following the departure of veteran Steve Harper.
And Woodman says he is delighted at the strength in depth that the club have in the goalkeeping position.
"We are well-equipped in the goalkeeper department," he said. "We have a nice group. I am really chuffed at how the goalkeeping department has shaped up. It is nice as well the manager and the chairman have backed my judgement, in particular in bringing in Robbie."