Benitez hoping for positive Longstaff news
Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez is hopeful the injury Sean Longstaff suffered at the weekend is only a minor issue.
Longstaff has nailed down a starting place in Newcastle's midfield since making his first-team debut on Boxing Day and he scored his first Premier League goal in the 2-0 victory over Burnley last Tuesday.
However, the 21-year-old could be facing a spell out on the sidelines after he needed to be substituted in Saturday's 2-0 defeat at West Ham after feeling some discomfort in his knee.
The midfielder was seen leaving the London Stadium on crutches and was wearing a knee brace as a precaution, casting huge doubts about the fitness of the rising star.
Benitez was asked about Longstaff's situation and he is keeping his fingers crossed the injury is not that bad.
"We have to assess him in a couple of days," he was quoted as saying by the Shields Gazette. "Obviously, when you make a substitution, it's because he was feeling something.
"Hopefully, Longstaff will be fine. But, if he's injured, we have bodies to at least compete between them and see if we can at the very least keep the same level."
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.