Ghana will miss their England-based midfielder Christian Atsu for next month's friendlies against Iceland and Japan because of injury.
Newcastle United have confirmed that the Ghana winger will play no part in the season again this season after undergoing a knee surgery.
The 24-year-old sustained a knee injury some weeks ago but played through the pain barrier until he could not continue anymore hence had to undergo surgery.
The flying winger went under the knife in a bid to make sure that he is available for the start of next season.
This means he will miss Ghana’s friendly against Iceland and Japan in June.
The Black Stars will face the two opponents who will use the game to prepare for the World Cup holding in Russia.
But decision to make Atsu undergo the surgery is a measure to ensure he is fit for pre-season in a sign that he has a future at the St James' Park beyond his first full campaign with the Magpies.
“Atsu has had an operation on his knee to be sure that he will be fine for the next year,” said Benitez.
“It wasn’t a big issue but he had some discomfort and we needed to fix the problem now to be sure that next year he is fine.
"Ciaran Clark has a little problem with his knee, but we think he will be fine for next week hopefully. The others are fine,” he added.
Atsu will therefore miss Newcastle’s trip to Vicarage Road to face Watford on Saturday as well as the games against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.