Rafa Benitez sweating on fitness of Newcastle's Florian Lejeune

Rafa Benitez is sweating on the fitness of Florian Lejeune ahead of the new season.

Friday, 27th July 2018, 9:40 pm
Updated Friday, 27th July 2018, 10:07 pm
Florian Lejeune.

The Newcastle United defender has not travelled to Portugal with his team-mates for the club’s friendlies against Porto and Braga.

Lejeune missed Tuesday night’s friendly against Hull City with a knee injury.

Florian Lejeune.

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United manager Benitez admitted that the problem could be more “serious” than some of the knocks that other players are carrying.

Asked about absences at the KCOM Stadium, Benitez said: “Some of them have little problems.

“The only one that is a bit more serious could be Lejeune. He has a knee problem that we have to assess.”

Benitez also left behind winger Rolando Aarons, though striker Dwight Gayle – who didn’t feature against Hull City – was on the club’s flight.

Newcastle take on Porto at the Estadio do Dragao tonight (8pm kick-off).

The game is followed by a fixture against Braga on August 1.

Benitez and his players will then return to Tyneside for the August 4 home game against Augsburg.