Rafa Benitez explains Jamaal Lascelles' absence from Newcastle's starting XI

Jamaal Lascelles
Jamaal Lascelles

Newcastle United's Jamaal Lascelles has suffered an injury in pre-season.

The club's captain wasn't involved in Saturday's friendly against Preston North End.

Lascelles travelled to Deepdale with his team-mates, but the defender watched from the sidelines.

And United manager Rafa Benitez revealed after the game that he had suffered a "niggle" during the club's week-long training camp in Ireland.

Asked about Lascelles, Benitez said:“He's OK. He had a bit of a niggle with his knee, but hopefully he is OK.”

Lascelles – who led Newcastle to the Championship title last season – had a groin operation in May.

The 23-year-old had played through the pain barrier in the second half of the campaign.