Rolando Aarons: Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez cautious about winger's return
Newcastle United winger Rolando Aarons is unlikely to return to action this season despite his ahead-of-schedule rehabilitation from a cruciate ligament injury, says manager Rafael Benitez.
Aarons, 21, was expected to miss the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury in November, having played five games this term.
He is back in training and could be considered for first-team duty.
"It takes normally around six to eight months," Benitez told BBC Newcastle.
"He had the operation in another country, in Italy with the surgeon we knew, and it's been really good.
"After four months he's been doing a full training session with the team, so we are really pleased with the way he is going on."
The Magpies have options in Aarons' absence, with Matt Ritchie, Ayoze Perez, Yoan Gouffran and Christian Atsu filling the role for Benitez's side.
There are eight league games remaining for Newcastle, who are top of the Championship and lead Brighton by a point.
"I had a conversation with him, and the doctor, about our ideas and we don't want to take any risks," Benitez added.
"The player is training so we could say he can play but we don't want to take any risks for a couple of games at the end of the season.
"We prefer to monitor the player every day to see how he progresses and it depends on the necessities of the team, but normally if he plays this year it will be at the end."