RAFAEL BENITEZ admits Newcastle United midfielder Miguel Almiron is unlikely to play again this season.

Almiron injured his hamstring in the second half of Newcastle's 3-1 win over Southampton, and was in tears as he hobbled from the field.

He will be assessed by Newcastle's medical staff in the next 48 hours, but given there are only three games of the season remaining, his first campaign as a Magpies player looks like it is over.

Benitez said: "It is a hamstring injury (Almiron), but we will have to see how he is. We will have to speak with the doctor and see how he reacts.

"It is the same with (Fabian) Schar and (Isaac) Hayden. Schar was complaining yesterday, and we saw him in the first half. We weren’t very keen to do any substitutions at the start of the second half because we knew we had one or two little problems. In the end it was like that.

"It is bad for them, but we have other players and maybe they will get a chance to do their best now.

“It is his (Almiron) first injury of this type. He was doing well and the fans love him.

"He was working very hard, and it is not easy for a player who was doing well in another country, at a massive club in front of 52,000 fans, to then get injured and maybe have to be out for the rest of the season."

Ayoze Perez scored a hat-trick as Newcastle moved to the 41-point mark, and Benitez was impressed with his fellow Spaniard's contribution.

He said: "Last season he was scoring goals and doing well at the end of the season, and this year it seems like it is the same.

"I am really pleased for him. He knows he has to be more consistent, but if he scores three goals sometimes, we will be happy with that.

“The way that we play now, with Miguel Almiron with his pace, (Salomon) Rondon holding the ball, and the wing-backs, it is giving us different options.

"He (Perez) is finding more space in between the lines, and also behind the defender. A lot of things are coming together, and he is doing well because he understands what he has to do."