Islam Slimani may not make his Newcastle United debut until Huddersfield’s visit to St James’ Park at the end next month as the Magpies’ deadline day loan signing struggles to overcrome a thigh injury. The Algerian arrived from Leicester City with the Newcastle hierarchy fully aware of a problem with his thigh and despite positive nosies that Slimani may be fit enough to feature tomorrow against Bournemouth, the forward suffered a set-back while training on Tuesday which could rule him out for at least ‘two to three weeks’. However, manager Rafa Benitez is not worried about the forward’s injury and believes Slimani is getting closer to his debut. “When we signed Islam we knew he had a little bit of an injury but he has been training and doing well,” he said. “He was just feeling the injury a little bit, so we made sure we were cautious with him at the beginning. On Friday I was watching him running in training and he looked fine. He was working with the physios and the fitness coach and he did everything that we asked. “And then on Tuesday we were training and were working on possession, he was feeling really well but then he kicked the ball and just felt something. Things like that can happen. “Now we have to be sure we go back and control everything for the next time. But he’s fine in himself, he’s positive and he’s telling me ‘oh, I feel fine, I can turn, I can spring’, but just with this gesture of kicking the ball he felt something at the top (of his thigh).” Benitez moved to assure fans that the injury was not as a serious as a tear, and put it down to bad luck, while maintaining that United are looking good on the injury front.
Rafa Benitez admits it was a 'risk' to sign Islam Slimani but is hopeful he can make an impact
Chronicle Live | Feb 25