By Will Butcher

Tim Krul has moved a step closer to a full recovery from his Newcastle injury nightmare after playing 90 minutes for Ajax’s reserve side.

The 28-year-old shot stopper conceded two goals as Ajax drew 2-2 with FC Utrecht’s development side on Monday night.

Posting on his personal Twitter account, the Holland international revealed his delight to be back out on the pitch after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Newcastle stalwart Krul has been injured since October 2015 after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament while on international duty.

With an abundance of first-team goalkeepers at Tyneside in the form of current number one Karl Darlow, summer signing Matz Sels and Republic of Ireland international Rob Elliot, Krul opted to return to his home country in the summer on loan.

The former Carlisle and Falkirk loanee could now be set to feature for the Dutch giants on Thursday as they face Greek outfit Panathinaikos in the Europa League.

Krul is currently Newcastle’s longest-serving first-team player, after making his debut for the Toon more than a decade ago against Serie A outfit Palermo in the UEFA Cup.

In other Newcastle team news, manager Rafa Benitez has been given a huge boost in his pursuit of this Championship playmaker as he looks to line up a January offer.