Ryan Taylor is closing in on full fitness after almost two years on the sidelines and has revealed how he took advice from the likes of Alan Shearer and Michael Owen before undergoing serious knee surgery.

Taylor last played for Newcastle in the Europa League tie against Atromitos two years ago when he ruptured his cruciate ligament, before repeating the injury in a training session when he was closing in on a comeback.

The former Wigan man has had two major surgeries on his knee and travelled to respected doctor Richard Steadman in America to rectify his problems.

Steadman has operated on many high-profile names in the past and Taylor spoke to a number of former players before heading Stateside for his op.

Taylor told the Shields Gazette: “I spoke to Michael [Owen], Jimmy Bullard, Al and Jamie Redknapp. Because I knew it was such big surgery for me career-wise, I had to make sure it was right.

“I spoke to people who had been over there and come back from the same injury. They gave me the green light – everyone was so positive about the place. I was like, ‘Come on, let’s get over there’.”

After the two operations, Taylor was on his way back and had started participating in full training again before breaking down in training with a repeat of the same injury.

“I knew I’d done something, but I tried to convince myself it wasn’t the same injury.

“I was trying to remain positive until I had the scan. There was nobody near me in training. There was just one twist.

“I had the scan and it didn’t sink in until I came back in. There were tears in the doc’s room. I didn’t know what to do at the time.”

Taylor is now once again back in full training for Newcastle and hopes to be fit in time for the new season. The full-back will compete with Davide Santon, Massadio Haidara, Paul Dummett and Mathieu Debuchy for a starting berth and hope no more injury nightmares stand in his way.