Newcastle hoping Davide Santon can avoid knee surgery

Newcastle full-back Davide Santon
Santon has won seven international caps for Italy

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

The Italian, 20, had been in line to make his first-team debut at Aston Villa on Saturday but damaged his right knee in training last week.

Manager Alan Pardew said: "He has gone to London and will have his knee drained of a little bit of fluid.

"We are hoping he will train. If that doesn't work we will have to look at some keyhole surgery at some stage."

Santon was signed 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.

There was confusion last week as to whether the injury was related to a problem the player was already carrying.

Pardew said on Thursday: "It's an injury he's had previously, so I think it's very wise the doctor and his team have had him scanned."

But the club added on Friday: "Davide was injury-free when he completed his pre-signing medical examination and scans. The injury he sustained is not connected to his previous injuries."

The Italian was an unused substitute during last week's match against QPR.