Salomon Rondon’s fighting fit ahead of Bournemouth’s visit to St James’s Park – thanks to an unplanned 90-minute run-out.
On-loan Rondon made his first start in more than a month last weekend after recovering from a thigh injury.
Manager Rafa Benitez had planned to only field Rondon for 70 minutes against Watford, but he had to last the entire game after Jamaal Lascelles, Jonjo Shelvey and Yoshinori Muto all went off injured.
“I think it will benefit him to have played for 90 minutes, even if it isn’t what we were planning,” said manager Benitez. “His match fitness is still not ideal, and maybe we were expecting him to play just 70 minutes, or something like that, against Watford.
“He had to play 90 minutes after the injuries we had. He was working very hard and giving us something different.”
Rondon has reacted well to his comeback.
I think it will benefit him to have played for 90 minutes, even if it isn’t what we were planning,Rafa Benitez
“During the week, he has been training – and, even though we thought he would be tired, he was doing really, really well,” said Benitez. “With all that, I think it was only a good thing for him to have played 90 minutes last week, and hopefully we see that on Saturday.”
Newcastle take on Bournemouth at St James’s Park tomorrow.
The club moved out of the Premier League’s relegation zone after last Saturday’s 1-0 win over Watford
Reflecting on the win, Benitez said: “It was very important,” said Benitez.
“I was talking with some fans before, and I think everyone knows that in so many games, we were really close to getting that win.
“But we just couldn’t do it. So to get three points, even though the game was maybe not the best, was a relief.”