Rafael Benitez has denied a training ground row with Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles.
The centre-back watched Newcastle’s 2-1 Premier League loss at home to Chelsea on Sunday from the stands at St James’ Park.
Reports suggested Lascelles and Benitez argued in training about the Spaniard’s tactical plans, though the club said the player was absent at the weekend due to an ankle problem.
Benitez was widely criticised for a negative approach against Chelsea, despite Maurizio Sarri’s side needing a controversial penalty and a DeAndre Yedlin own goal to triumph.
“The doctor is better than me, we’re waiting for results of a scan for Jamaal,” Benitez told the media when questioned over Lascelles’ possible return.
“He came to support the team, I spoke to him before and after the game and three or four times this morning.
“His partner is expecting a baby but everything is fine. I don’t know how long he’ll be out for.”
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 28, 2018
Lascelles will miss a potential reunion with former club Nottingham Forest on Wednesday in the EFL Cup due to his injury.
Jonjo Shelvey, Javier Manquillo, Florian Lejeune and Matt Ritchie have also been ruled out of Wednesday’s tie at the City Ground.
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