When Jonjo Shelvey missed open training on Monday, we were told it was no cause for concern, and he was on the bus for the evening session at Braga’s impressive academy, in the shadow of the ground.
By the time matchday came around, though, the deep-lying playmaker was in the press box, helping out with a bit of radio commentary.
Now the official line if that Shelvey’s niggle could keep him out of Saturday’s final friendly against Augsburg, but he is not expected to miss the opening Premier League game at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
Benitez certainly did not come across as concerned about that, which given how open – albeit not talkative – he was about all his other worries, must be a positive sign.
So important is Shelvey’s incisive passing to their play, Newcastle will certainly be hoping Shelvey is fit for the real stuff.