Newcastle United Florian Lejeune has offered a fresh update as he steps up his recovery from a knee injury.
The French defender suffered a cruicate ligament injury in pre-season and was expected to be ruled for the majority of the 2018-19 campaign.
However, Lejeune has somewhat defied the odds to put himself well ahead of schedule and it was revealed at the weekend the 27-year-old could return to first-team action early in next year.
The former Eibar defender been on the mend since his operation in early August and Benitez said last month that Lejuene could be back within four month.
READ MORE: Rafa Benitez reveals when Florian Lejeune is due back at Newcastle
"Normally, this injury, in the past, could be nine months. It depends on what is going on between six and nine months," said Benitez.
“Now, in our experience with this surgeon in Italy, it takes less ... between four and six months. It depends what is going on and if we have any complications.”
Remarkably, Lejeune is ready to return to Tyneside as soon as this month after completing the first stage of his rehabilitation in Rome.
Benitez said last weekend: "He is getting better – you have his Instagram!
"He will come back maybe in one week He's doing his rehab in Rome, special facilities."
WATCH: Watch as Newcastle United's Florian Lejeune offers new injury update
Coincidentally, Lejuene has taken to Instagram on Monday morning to offer his latest update, saying his 'recovery on schedule',
"Hello everyone, my recovery is on schedule," he said.
"It will take a little more patience before I come back onto the field but I am working very hard to get as quickly and strong as possible.
Thank you for all your messages."