Rafa Benitez reveals what specialist told him about Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett as Newcastle's injured list lengthens

Rafa Benitez is sweating on the fitness of Mohamed Diame for Newcastle United's visit to Stamford Bridge.

Saturday, 12th January 2019, 4:00 am
Mohamed Diame.

Benitez has already lost Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett for this evening’s game against Chelsea.

And midfielder Diame (pictured) is pushing to return from a hip injury which he suffered against Manchester United earlier this month.

“We have to assess him, because he had some problems,” said manager Benitez.

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“After the problem during the game, he was fine.”

Asked if he would be left out against Maurizio Sarri’s side, Benitez said: “Maybe, we have to check.”

Benitez sent Shelvey and Dummett to Barcelona this week to speak to a specialist about their respective thigh and hamstring problems.

Asked what the specialist said, Benitez said: “That they are doing well, but still we will need some time.

“They are getting better.”

Midfielder Shelvey aggravated the thigh problem which has plagued him for the past two months after coming off the bench in last weekend’s FA Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers at St James’s Park.

Defender Dummett, meanwhile, recently returned from the hamstring injury he suffered playing for Wales in November.

Benitez is hoping to have at least one of them back for the January 19 home game against Cardiff City.

Goalkeeper Karl Darlow remains sidelined, though defensive pair Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark are fully fit.

“We have some injuries, some problems,” said Benitez. “But Fernandez and Clark are available.”

Meanwhile, Ki Sung-yueng and Yoshinori Muto are away with South Korea and Japan respectively for the Asian Cup, which runs until early next month.