By Harry Sykes
Rafael Benitez has revealed that Dwight Gayle has suffered a recurrence of the hamstring injury that sidelined him for a month.
The striker was named in the starting XI for Newcastle’s 2-0 Championship win against Aston Villa at St James’ Park on Monday night.
But the division’s top scorer lasted just 33 minutes of the fixture before hobbling off with another hamstring problem.
Speaking in the immediate aftermath of the match, Magpies manager Benitez admitted Gayle could be facing another extended spell on the sidelines.
Asked by Sky Sports 1 if it could be the same hamstring injury as before, Benitez said: “We think it could be the same, we’ll have to check and now could be too soon to say anything, but we think it could be the same.”
Gayle first broke down on 14 January with a hamstring problem sustained in Newcastle’s 2-1 win at Brentford.
It kept the prolific striker, who tops the Championship scoring charts this season with 20 league goals, out until he made his return as a second-half substitute in last Tuesday’s 2-2 draw against Norwich.
Gayle was replaced by Aleksandar Mitrovic against Villa, and the Serbian could once again take over as the spearhead of the attack in place of the leading scorer.
In other Newcastle news, fans have taken to Twitter to react to Henri Lansbury’s display against Villa.