Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez says Ghana are not responsible for the thigh injury that kept Christian Atsu out of the defeat at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The Magpies winger was ruled out of the clash against Manchester United after returning from national team duty, but his problem stemmed from a kick he received against Bournemouth earlier this month.
Benitez was said to be furious over Atsu’s thigh muscle injury, which was reported to have happened while he was training with the Black Stars ahead of the dead-rubber World Cup qualifier against Egypt last week.
The Spaniard had been reluctant to release Atsu in Cape Coast because Atsu “felt something” in the home defeat to the Cherries before the international break.
Rafa Benitez x Atsu
“I want to be very, very honest and clear, He had a kick during the game against Bournemouth, and after when he shot he was feeling it a little bit,
“He put some ice on it and said he was fine. Then he went away with the national team. He had a training session and they sent him back.
“It’s not the case that they were using him and then something happened.
“He had a little problem and then he went there, couldn’t play and he came back.
“It’s not that it’s their fault. It’s just something that happened.”
Atsu will be hoping to be fit for Newcastle next premier league assignment, which is a home clash with Watford.