Aleksandar Mitrovic offers to return early for injury-hit Newcastle

Aleksandar Mitrovic (Pic: Terry Rickeard)
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Pic: Terry Rickeard)
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Rafa Benitez has given an injury update at Newcastle United ahead of tomorrow night's FA Cup replay against Birmingham City.

Benitez lost Dwight Gayle, Isaac Hayden and Vurnon Anita to injuries in Saturday's 2-1 Championship win over Brentford.

Gayle, the club's 20-goal leading scorer, suffered a hamstring problem, while Hayden hurt his groin and Anita damaged ankle ligaments.

“We had three problems," said United's manager, whose side lead the division by a point.

"Hayden is doing well. Hopefully, not serious. Anita has problem with ankle could be six weeks, more of less.

"Dwight Gayle is much better than expected. No timeframe. He will be assessed every game. It’s too early. Every day we will see how he is. We will see with Gayle, we didn’t know. The player has already started the treatment and we will see how he gets on.

Dwight Gayle

Dwight Gayle

“Hayden can play if we want to push, but we will not push. We have three players away (at the Africa Cup of Nations), and then losing three players in the same game is not good. We have to manage the situation."

Aleksandar Mitrovic suffered a gashed leg in the first game against Birmingham earlier this month.

And the striker "joked" that he would play in the replay if needed.

“They can take the stiches out of Mitrovic," said Benitez. "He is doing well, and we will see how he is progressing. He was joking about playing tomorrow, but we will have to wait."