Rafa Benitez gives fitness update on Islam Slimani at Newcastle

Islam Slimani
Islam Slimani

Rafa Benitez says Islam Slimani is "improving" as he bids to make his Newcastle United debut.

The striker, signed on loan from Leicester City in January, has been sidelined with a thigh injury since joining the club.

Slimani today flew to Spain with his team-mates ahead of Sunday's friendly against Royal Antwerp.

Benitez's players were put through their paces today at the club's Algorfa base, and they will train tomorrow and Saturday ahead of the game.

"He has a plan," Benitez told NUFC TV. "He has to follow the plan. He's working with the fitness coach. He's improving, but he has to follow the plan."

Benitez hopes to have Slimani available for the March 31 home game against Huddersfield Town.