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Benitez discusses Sean Longstaff’s injury

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has discussed Sean Longstaff’s injury after the young midfielder was ruled out for the rest of the season.

The 21-year-old has excelled since establishing himself in the first-team at St James’ Park, prompting talk of an England call-up, and Benitez admits the youngster’s injury is ‘bad news’ for the club.

“When you have an injury it’s always bad news.” Benitez told his press conference ahead of tomorrows clash with Everton.

“For a young player it’s worse. But talking with him he’s mentally strong, he knows he needs to start working to get fit as soon as possible.

“He is really positive and we are disappointed, but he is fine.”

Speaking on a possible return for Longstaff, Benitez said the academy graduate would likely be out for around 2-3 months, but admitted the injury could provide an opportunity for other members of his squad.

“If you look at [Florian] Lejeune, you can come back quickly from injuries. It is not as serious.

“He is unlikely to be back this season, but mentally he is fine & he will be back in 2-3 months. He was becoming a key player for us but he will be fine in the future.

“We have four midfielders so we have to make a decision. It is bad news for Longstaff, but it could be good news for somebody else.”

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