Rafa Benitez clears up circumstances surrounding Christian Atsu's injury

Christian Atsu
Christian Atsu

Rafa Benitez has explained how Christian Atsu ended up on Newcastle United's injured list.

The winger is out of this evening's game against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Rolando Aarons

Rolando Aarons

Atsu "felt something" in the home defeat to Bournemouth before the international break, but the 25-year-old still linked up with Ghana ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Egypt.

READ MORE: Rafa Benitez reveals his thoughts on Rolando Aarons, Jacob Murphy and his selection dilemma at Newcastle

However, the 25-year-old was sent back to England after one training session with a thigh muscle tear.

United manager Benitez isn't blaming Ghana for the problem.

Rafa Benitez (Pic: NUFC/Serena Taylor)

Rafa Benitez (Pic: NUFC/Serena Taylor)

Asked by the Gazette about Atsu's injury, Benitez said: "I want to be very, very honest and clear.

"He had a kick during the game against Bournemouth, and after when he shot he was feeling it a little bit.

"He put some ice on it and said he was fine. Then he went away with the national team. He had a training session and they sent him back.

"It's not the case that they were using him and then something happened. He had a little problem and then he went there, couldn't play and he came back.

"It's not that it's their fault. It's just something that happened."

The injury has left Benitez – who must choose between Ayoze Perez, Rolando Aarons or Jacob Murphy to deputise for Atsu – short of pace.

"Hopefully, we can manage with Rolando or Jacob if we need to do it, or maybe with the movements of Ayoze," said Benitez.

"It's what we have and we have to adapt to deal with what we have and see if we can do it."