Rafa Benitez sweating on the fitness of key player for Newcastle's visit to Norwich

Rafa Benitez will make a late decision on the involvement of Isaac Hayden at Carrow Road.

Newcastle United's Isaac Hayden.
Newcastle United's Isaac Hayden.

The Newcastle United midfielder was an unused substitute at Molineux on Saturday.

Hayden was left out of the starting XI because of a minor ankle problem which the club’s medical team havebeen managing on a week-to-week basis.

Jack Colback returned from illness against Wolverhampton Wanderers, beaten 1-0 by the Championship leaders.

And Benitez will make a late decision on who will partner Jonjo Shelvey in his midfield for tonight’s game against Norwich City.

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Asked about Hayden’s injury, Benitez said: “We are treating his ankle, and then we’ll decide.

“Sometimes we think it’s a couple of days, then not.

“We have to keep working on that.

“You cannot control during the game if you have a bad tackle.

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“We just have to wait and see how he progresses.”

Otherwise, Benitez has almost a fully fit squad at United.

Vurnon Anita and Rolando Aarons are the only two players with long-term injuries.

Asked about the injured list, Benitez said: “We just have Aarons and Anita. The others have been training, so very few problems.”

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Meanwhile, forward Haris Vuckic netted twice in a 4-0 Premier League Cup win for Newcastle’s under-23s over Bristol City yesterday,

New signing Victor Fernandez and Jamie Holmes were also on target for Peter Beardsley’s side at Whitley Park.