Rafa Benitez left with unwelcome problem at Newcastle

Paul Dummett.
Paul Dummett.

Rafa Benitez is sweating on the fitness of Paul Dummett ahead of Newcastle United’s visit to Turf Moor.

Dummett suffered an injury on his full international debut for Wales.

The defender – who captained Newcastle to a second successive victory last weekend – pulled up in Friday night’s 2-1 defeat to Denmark at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Dummett, previously troubled by hamstring problems, was forced to withdraw from Ryan Giggs’ squad for tomorrow night’s game away to Albania.

A statement from the Football Association of Wales read: “James Chester and Paul Dummett have withdrawn from the Wales squad through injury and will miss the journey to Albania for the international challenge match,”

Dummett – who has started 10 of the club’s 12 Premier League games this season – will now be assessed ahead of the November 26 game against Burnley.

United manager Rafa Benitez handed Dummett the captain’s armband in the absence through injury of club skipper Jamaal Lascelles, who is recovering from a shoulder problem.

Speaking after the game, Dummett said: “After the first few games of the season and not many points on the board, it’s difficult when people write you off in the press.

“The manager’s come out in the press and backed us a lot and said that we just need to keep going – it’s a long race right to the end of the season.

“We’ve showed in the last two games that we’re capable of winning games, and hopefully that gives us confidence for the rest of the season.”

Newcastle are 14th in the Premier League table.

Lascelles, along with midfielder Jonjo Shelvey (calf), could be fit for the Burnley game.

Benitez is short of cover at left-back. Right-footed Javier Manquillo has previously deputised for Dummett, while winger Kenedy can also play in his position.

Left-back Achraf Lazaar, frozen out by Benitez last year, has trained with the senior squad during the international break. The 26-year-old has been playing for the club’s Under-23 side this season as an over-age player.