Report explains why Rafa Benitez is confident Newcastle man will return early

Florian Lejeune (R) passes the ball during the Newcastle United Training session at Carton House on July 15, 2018, in Kildare, Ireland.

Newcastle defender Florian Lejeune suffered a long-term knee injury in pre-season.

Florian Lejeune of Newcastle United (20)  passes the ball during the Pre Season Friendly match between St.Patricks Athletic and Newcastle United at Richmond Park on July 17, 2018, in...

The Evening Chronicle has claimed that Rafa Benitez is confident defender Florian Lejeune will return ahead of schedule from his long-term knee injury, thanks to the help of an Italian.

Lejeune, 27, has failed to make a single appearance for the first team this season after suffering a knee injury in the summer that required an operation.

 

It was believed that the former Manchester City colossus may be sidelined for nine months, but Benitez has enlisted the help of Professor Paolo Mariani, who has been used by the Spaniard in the past.

Indeed, Rolando Aarons overcame his anterior cruciate ligament after jetting out to Italy during the 2016-17 campaign to overcome the problem - while Lorenzo Insigne worked under Mariani during Benitez's time at Napoli.

Florian Lejeune of Newcastle United (L) and Mohamed Diame (R) arrives for  the Premier League Match between Newcastle United and Chelsea at St.James' Park on May 13, 2018, in Newcastle...

Lejeune has already returned to training as he continues his rehabilitation process after going under the knife. Federico Fernandez has confirmed that the Frenchman is in training, which suggests that he could be back soon.

Newcastle are next in action against Brighton at St. James' Park, as they finally look to register their first Premier League win of the season after suffering six losses in their eight league games so far.

Florian Lejeune celebrates as France wins the 2018 FIFA World Cup during the Newcastle United Training session at Carton House on July 15, 2018, in Kildare, Ireland.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch