Rafael Benitez listening to advice from surgeons, says Newcastle fitness coach

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez finally had to listen to the experts as he attempted to return to the training pitch just days after undergoing surgery.

The 57-year-old Spaniard had the procedure on Monday to address an infection resulting from an earlier hernia operation, and has three times since embarked upon the journey back from his home in the north-west for Tyneside, only to be forced to turn back in pain.

He still hopes to be in the dug-out for Sunday's Premier League trip to Swansea, but fitness coach Francisco de Miguel Moreno - or Paco to his friends - has revealed Benitez has heeded advice from he and his surgeon and agreed to take the time he needs.

De Miguel said: "It's up to him, but yes, he is listening. Yesterday, he realised he was not in the condition that he thought.

"Now I think he is calm, he is just analysing things from behind and that's it. He should be fine.

"He wanted to come and the family obviously they said: 'OK, it's your health, you have to take care of yourself' and we are trying to convince him.

"The feedback we have from the surgeons and the medical staff is to take it easy and don't take any risks. I said to him: 'Sometimes it is better to miss one game, if that has to happen, than three'.

"Maybe he can join us and that would be great, and if it's not the case, we will be fine for Swansea."

De Miguel has no doubt that if Benitez does not make it to Swansea, he will be back in harness for Stoke's visit to St James' Park next weekend.

However, even if he is not at the Liberty Stadium, he will have a significant input as the Magpies attempt to build on their 3-0 win over West Ham last time out with midfielder Jonjo Shelvey available once again after suspension.

De Miguel said: "It will be Rafa's decision, but also he is taking into consideration our feelings, I think in this case even more because he hasn't seen the players training and Rafa normally has this feeling for the momentum of everybody.

"Because he doesn't have this feeling before his eyes, he will in this case be more comfortable saying: 'OK, what do you think?' And we will decide together."


 

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