Rafa Benitez sweating on the fitness of TWO key players for Newcastle’s visit to Man United

Jamaal Lascelles
Jamaal Lascelles

Rafa Benitez is counting the cost of Newcastle United’s 1-0 home defeat to Bournemouth.

An injury-time goal from Steve Cook on Saturday condemned the club to a second successive Premier League defeat.

The result saw Newcastle – who face Manchester United at Old Trafford on November 18 – drop into the bottom half of the division after almost two months in the top 10.

Captain Jamaal Lascelles was forced off with an ankle problem, while Christian Atsu, selected by Ghana for the November 12 World Cup qualifier against Egypt, also left the field after “feeling something”.

United manager Benitez said: “Jamaal, will have his ankle (assessed), with Atsu, he felt something, but it’s too early to tell.”

Lascelles left St James’s Park with the aid of crutches and a protective boot on his left foot.

Jamaal, will have his ankle (assessed), with Atsu, he felt something, but it’s too early to tell.”

Jamaal Lascelles

The defender is hopeful the injury is not serious.

Lascelles said on Twitter: “Disappointing result. Gutted I had to come off the pitch. Scan Monday, so hopefully not too bad. Thanks for the support.”

Newcastle’s injured list had been shortening.

Defender Paul Dummett is closing in on a return from a hamstring problem.

However, midfielder Mikel Merino could be sidelined until next month with a back injury. Benitez said: “We have to start treatment. It depends how he responds to the treatment.”