By Coral Barry

Fabricio Coloccini will not be fit in time for Newcastle’s crucial Premier League game against Norwich, according to Rafael Benitez.

The Newcastle skipper has been struggling with a calf injury for the past month and the new manager has revealed the relegation battle against the Canaries has come too soon for Coloccini.

Coloccini, 34, has yet to train under Benitez and watched from the sidelines during Thursday’s training session alongside his new manager.

“I think Norwich will be too close for him,” said Benitez, speaking to the Newcastle Chronicle. “He is undergoing treatment and he is improving but when you have been away for a while you need to time to have match fitness again.”

The Argentine international picked up his injury during a mid-season training camp in La Manga last month.

Benitez is said to be a big fan of Coloccini and is eager to welcome him back into the fold with Newcastle second from the bottom of the table.

Rafael Benitez has given his first press conference as Newcastle manager

Boss man: Benitez is desperate to have Coloccini back as soon as possible

Newcastle have played four league games in their skipper’s absence and have lost three and drawn one.

The 1-1 draw against Sunderland on Sunday was the Magpies first point in four matches, but the result leaves Newcastle three points from safety.

Newcastle cannot afford to lose their next game against relegation-rivals Norwich ,who are currently 17th in the table.

In other Newcastle news, there is one midfielder who could feature against the Canaries.