Defender ruled out of Saints clash

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Newcastle United are missing Florian Lejeune for Saturday's Premier League clash against Southampton at St James' Park.

Newcastle United are missing Florian Lejeune for Saturday’s Premier League clash against Southampton at St James’ Park.

French defender Lejeune, who joined in the summer of 2017, picked up a serious knee injury in the 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on April 6 and recently underwent an operation to resolve the issue.

The 27-year-old has been ruled out for the rest of the season although Rafael Benitez says everything went well with the surgery.

‘He had the operation, and talking with the doctor, he said everything had gone well – as we were expecting,’ he said at a press conference.

‘In a couple of months we will see how he’s progressing and how long it will take – we have to give him time.

‘ English midfielder Sean Longstaff is the only other absentee for the Magpies as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, which Benitez revealed is going well at the moment.

He added: ‘I saw Sean Longstaff today – he is walking around and getting stronger.

Other than him and Lejeune, the rest of the squad are fine.’

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