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Santon injury setback

Newcastle have moved to dismiss suggestions that new signing Davide Santon's knee injury could be related to problems he suffered earlier in his career.

Manager Alan Pardew revealed on Thursday that the former Inter Milan full-back was undergoing a scan after damaging his right knee in training. Santon has been ruled out of the trip to Aston Villa, in which he might have made his senior debut for the club, after initial tests, and he will be re-assessed early next week after treatment.

A club statement said: "Newcastle United can confirm that Davide Santon sustained an injury to his right knee during training which will keep him out of Saturday's match against Aston Villa."

It added: "The player had a scan on Thursday afternoon and will undergo treatment over the weekend and will be reviewed by a specialist early next week.

"Davide was injury-free when he completed his pre-signing medical examination and scans. The injury he sustained on Thursday is not connected to his previous injuries."

Pardew was delighted to capture Santon after a lengthy search for a replacement for Jose Enrique, and the player's misfortune will come as a blow with the club fearing he could be sidelined for a month.

Ryan Taylor has filled in at left-back during the opening weeks of the campaign, but he endured a tough night against QPR's Shaun Wright-Phillips on Monday to underline the need for a specialist.

Newcastle head for Villa sitting in fourth place in the table and unbeaten in all competitions so far this season.