RAFAEL BENITEZ has confirmed Florian Lejeune’s latest knee injury “seems bad”, with the centre-half having left St James’ Park on crutches.

Lejeune injured his left knee as he twisted awkwardly after tackling Andros Townsend in the second half of Newcastle’s 1-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace.

The Spaniard immediately started beating the floor in frustration, and was stretchered off after a lengthy spell of treatment.

Lejeune missed the first half of the season after damaging his cruciate ligaments in the summer, and while his latest injury does not affect the same knee he damaged in pre-season, there are fears it could be equally as severe.

Benitez said: “He seems bad. It is the other knee, but it seems bad so we will have to wait and see what the doctor says tomorrow.

“He was here after the game and I was talking with him. Obviously he was disappointed and afterwards the doctor said we need to assess him tomorrow, but it seems bad.

“He says he felt a click in his knee, and that is bad news normally. It is his left knee.”

Newcastle crashed to defeat after Luka Milivojevic converted an 81st-minute penalty to score with Crystal Palace’s only effort on target all game.

DeAndre Yedlin conceded the penalty, clipping Wilfried Zaha’s legs as the winger turned in the area, and Benitez was frustrated at the full-back’s error after he highlighted Zaha’s attacking threat on a number of occasions during the week.

Benitez said: “We knew how dangerous Zaha is, and we were watching the clips of situations like that. It was similar against Wolves, that was another penalty. There were four defenders around, so we made a mistake.”

However, Benitez was equally as frustrated at Newcastle’s panicked attempts to get back into the game after the fell a goal behind.

He said: “I cannot be disappointed with one mistake, I am disappointed with too many things that we didn’t do well, especially after conceding the goal.

“During the game, we were attacking, but we could have been more clinical or made better decisions in the final third. But that is something that we have seen during the whole season.

“When we concede a goal, we have to manage the minutes after that much better. We were clearing the ball in a rush and making the wrong decisions.

“Even doing the right things, we might not have scored a goal and got a point, but at least you have to do the right things. Not play under pressure.”