Rafa Benitez expects to go with what he’s got at Newcastle United between now and the end of the season.
Benitez does NOT expect to have Fabricio Coloccini or Daryl Janmaat available for any of the relegation-threatened Magpies’ final three games.
Newcastle take on Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace at St James’s Park on Saturday knowing a win could lift them out of the Premier League’s relegation zone.
Benitez had hoped to have captain Coloccini and experienced right-back Janmaat back for the run-in. Defender Coloccini, sidelined since February with a calf problem, suffered a setback earlier this month.
The hand Janmaat fractured punching a door at Southampton is set to keep him out of United’s remaining fixtures.
Janmaat has had surgery on his hand, and would need to play with a protective cast.
The only players likely to return from injury are forward Yoan Gouffran and centre-half Steven Taylor, who are poised to follow Kevin Mbabu out of the treatment room.
Versatile defender Mbabu was on the bench for last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Liverpool.
Gouffran limped out of Steve McClaren’s penultimate game in charge, while Taylor suffered a leg strain at St Mary’s Stadium during the 3-1 defeat to Southampton.
Long-serving Taylor, 30, is out of contract in the summer, while Gouffran’s future lies away from St James’s Park after a season on the first-team fringes.
Meanwhile, Pardew – whose side reached the FA Cup final last weekend – will face the media today.
Palace, in 16th place, are nine points above Newcastle and not yet mathematically certain of survival.