Rafa Benitez had some bad news in his press conference this afternoon and said that new loan signing Slimani has suffered a setback in training and he will not be available for at least two weeks.
Slimani was signed on the last day of the window and had what was thought to be a slight thigh injury at the time.
But the injury has stopped him playing for Newcastle, and it’s over three weeks since we signed him.
This is what Rafa said today about Slimani:
‘He had a setback the other day and isn’t available. It’ll be at least a couple of weeks.’
“Slimani had a setback & he will not be available for a couple of weeks. It is his same thigh problem. He could give us something different, but we think we have enough quality to cope.”
“We have to be careful with him because he had a problem when he arrived.”
“When you go to the last days of the window in this situation, it is always a risk to sign an injured player, but we had to do it. Islam was training really hard.”
“He was quite positive and he was training really well. But then he felt this problem again”
The only other player not fit for tomorrow’s game is Jesus Gamez.
So it looks like we will have to play both Bournemouth and Liverpool away without Slimani.
We just hope this injury clears up – but it’s obvious now that the damage is worse than first feared.
That’s what happens when you leave things to the last minute – as Mike Ashley did last month.