Good AND bad news for injury-hit Rafa Benitez at Newcastle

Paul Dummett
Paul Dummett

Paul Dummett has given injury-hit Newcastle United a lift by proving his fitness in time for the club’s visit to the St Mary’s Stadium.

Dummett has been sidelined more than a month with a hamstring problem.

Coloccini is still not ready. Dummett is available – he was training well – so hopefully he can be good news for this game and the rest of the season.

Rafa Benitez

But the left-back was in the relegation-threatened club’s squad for this afternoon’s game against Southampton.

Captain Fabricio Coloccini, however, will not be involved.

United manager Rafa Benitez said: “Coloccini is still not ready.

“Dummett is available – he was training well – so hopefully he can be good news for this game and the rest of the season.”

Dummett’s hamstring problems date back to late last season. And Benitez, mindful that he has suffered a series of setbacks, is likely to name him on the bench.

“We can push him, but I am not convinced that I have to push him because he was injured before and came back,” said Benitez.

“Maybe we can wait a little bit, because physically he is maybe not at the level you can expect for this game.

“So maybe we can say he could play 60 minutes or whatever, but I think still it is a risk so I prefer he starts on the bench and maybe that would be better.”

If Dummett is named as a substitute, Benitez will have to decide who should play in the problem left-back position.

Benitez has used Vurnon Anita and Moussa Sissoko there in the absence of Dummett, Massadio Haidara and Jack Colback.

“That’s one of the problems for me that we had all the players in this position who are a proper left full-back,” he said.