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Newcastle full-back Davide Santon was in London on Monday to have fluid drained from his injured knee in an attempt to avoid surgery.

The 20-year-old Italian, who had been in line to make his first-team debut for the club at Aston Villa on Saturday, damaged his right knee is training last week, and there were fears that he could be missing for a month.

However, manager Alan Pardew is keeping his fingers crossed that he could return to training within days, saying "He has gone to London and will have his knee drained of a little bit of fluid that's on it, and then we are hoping that he will train."

He added: "If that doesn't work, probably at some stage, we will have to look at some keyhole surgery in there to make sure that this fluid doesn't appear again."

Santon's absence is a blow for Pardew, who signed him from Inter Milan to replace Jose Enrique following the Spaniard's move to Liverpool.

Utility man Ryan Taylor has been filling in at left-back, but it remains to be seen whether he gets a rest for Tuesday night's Carling Cup third round trip to Nottingham Forest.

Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa, who has not played a competitive game for the club in almost a year, will figure at the City Ground, but Alan Smith will miss out with a hamstring injury and Dan Gosling is a doubt with a groin problem.

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Topics:
Hatem Ben Arfa
Football
Ryan Taylor
Alan Smith
League Cup
Premier League
Newcastle United
Jose Enrique
Nottingham Forest
Aston Villa
Ryan Taylor
Dan Gosling
Liverpool
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