Rafa Benitez gives injury update at Newcastle United

Fabian Schar.
Fabian Schar.

Rafa Benitez "quite optimistic" on injuries ahead of Cardiff City's visit to St James's Park.

Newcastle United defenders Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark were forced off against Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night.

Isaac Hayden and Fabian Schar also suffered knocks at Ewood Park.

Benitez will make a late decision on their involvement against Cardiff tomorrow.

Asked about injuries, manager Benitez said: “We have to assess some, players because we had too many things in the cup game, but I'm more or less optimistic.

"We have more or less the same problems we had. The new problems? We will decide tomorrow.

“But I am quite optimistic with Hayden, with Schar, with Clark, with Lascelles. I think they can be available if everything is fine.

“After watching the last two sessions, I think some of them will be available."

Midfielder Mohamed Diame, out since January 2, is back in training ahead of the Premier League game.

"He trained today and we have to assess him," said Benitez.

Meanwhile, Paul Dummett and Jonjo Shelvey remain sidelined.

“They are still the same, getting better, but still not ready," said Benitez.