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Nolan out after ankle surgery

Newcastle United captain Kevin Nolan will miss the final two games of the Premier League season after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle.

Nolan, 28, is scheduled to have the operation on Thursday, but is expected to be fit for the start of the new campaign.

Nolan has proved an inspirational figure for Newcastle and now that the Magpies have secured their top-flight status for next season he can have treatment on his troublesome right ankle.

The Magpies confirmed: "Kevin Nolan will undergo a minor operation on his right ankle later today which will see him miss United's last two games of the season.

"The skipper has been troubled by an ankle problem throughout the season, but the operation is going ahead now in order to allow him time to regain full fitness prior to the start of United's pre-season programme in July."

Nolan joined Newcastle from Bolton in a £4 million switch in January 2009 as then manager Joe Kinnear attempted, ultimately unsuccessfully, to stave off relegation.

His leadership qualities and 18 Championship goals were pivotal in their swift return to the top flight, and 12 this time around - the first time he has ever reached double figures in the Premier League - have been a major factor in Newcastle's successful season.

His impact has been such that current manager Alan Pardew is determined to tie him to a new deal, along with the likes of Joey Barton and Jose Enrique, as he attempts to secure his key men. Indeed, Barton hinted earlier in the season that the chances of him remaining on Tyneside would depend on whether or not Nolan stayed.


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