Newcastle sweating on fitness of key player for Norwich clash

DeAndre Yedlin limps off against Villa
DeAndre Yedlin limps off against Villa

Rafa Benitez is sweating on the fitness of DeAndre Yedlin for Norwich City’s visit to St James’s Park.

Yedlin impressed in Newcastle United’s 1-1 draw against Aston Villa on Saturday night.

The defender, however, was taken off late in the match with a twisted ankle.

Yedlin, signed from Tottenham Hotspur this summer, had been able to continue after an earlier clash of heads.

The former Sunderland loanee is now being assessed by United’s medical team ahead of Wednesday night’s home game against Championship leaders Norwich, with Benitez already without suspended right-back Vurnon Anita.

Asked about the 23-year-old’s performance, he said: “I don’t like to talk too much about one player, but I think the team as a team was good in attack.

“We knew in the first half that Paul (Dummett) and him could be important players for us and they did really well.

“After the substitution, maybe we had to adjust things and sometimes you cannot control everything.”

On Yedlin’s injury, Benitez added: “We will have to see. He twisted his ankle. We will see. We have to wait.”

Yedlin, replaced by Cheick Tiote, could only watch from the bench in frustration as Aaron Tshibola headed an 88th-minute equaliser for Villa.

The USA international said on Twitter: “Tough game but have to look forward to Wednesday. 1 point better than none. Thanks for the amazing support!”

Meanwhile, Tiote was named on the bench after Jack Colback was ruled out of the game with a minor problem.

The 30-year-old could yet join a club in the United Arab Emirates next month.

Asked if Tiote could stay at Newcastle, Benitez said: “To be fair, I still don’t know.

“We knew we had a problem in the middle because Jack had a little problem in the last training session and we didn’t want to take a risk.

“So we decided to bring in Cheick. He is training really well. You could think maybe he won’t have the match fitness, and we knew if we did have to use him it could be no longer than 15 minutes. He did well.

“The transfer window is still open in the UAE. If somebody comes in with an offer we will analyse it.

“If not, I am happy because he is a competitive player.”