Rafa Benitez has mixed news on injury front at Newcastle ahead of Watford game

Mikel Merino
Mikel Merino

Rafa Benitez has given an injury update ahead of Newcastle United's home game against Watford.

Benitez was without a clutch of players for last weekend's 4-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Mikel Merino (back) and Paul Dummett (hamstring) are closing in on their comebacks.

However, Jamaal Lascelles (ankle) and Christian Atsu (thigh) still "need some time", according to Benitez.

"Lascelles is getting better, but still he will need some time, and Atsu is the same," said United's manager.

“It’s too early to say (when they will be back).

“But Merino’s been doing part of the training session, and Dummett has done the full training session, so that’s positive news for us.”

Captain Lascelles had a message for fans the club's Fun88 Player of the Month for October.

The 24-year-old tweeted: "Appreciate you guys voting me for the player of the month award again. Hopefully, I will be back playing soon."