Newcastle's Kevin Nolan to undergo ankle operation

Kevin Nolan
Nolan has been a key figure in Newcastle's season

Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan will have ankle surgery on Thursday that will rule him out of the last two games of the Premier League season.

The Magpies have taken the step with their Premier League safety assured.

"The skipper has been troubled by an ankle problem throughout the season," said a Newcastle statement.

"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."

It is 28-year-old Nolan's right ankle which has been causing him the problems in a season where he has proved one of the team's key figures.

The former Bolton midfielder has scored 12 goals in 32 outings this season to add to his 18 goals in the Championship in the previous campaign, which helped Newcastle to promotion and a return to the top-flight.

He played in the 2-1 win over Birmingham last Saturday but will now miss games at Chelsea on Sunday before a home game against West Brom on the final day of this season.

Meanwhile, a knee operation scheduled for Newcastle keeper Steve Harper will take place on Friday and the club hope the 36-year-old will also be fit for pre-season.

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