NEWCASTLE defender Florian Lejeune has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Saints’ relegation rivals are only two points ahead of the south coast side, having played a game more.

And the two sides will play each other on Saturday, 20 April [5.30pm] at St. James’ Park.

Lejeune came off on a stretcher in the second half of the 1-0 loss and the Magpies said in a statement that the Frenchman had sustained a “significant” injury to his left knee.

The defender did not make his first appearance of 2018-19 until January having injured his other knee during pre-season.

Newcastle said: “Lejeune has been ruled out for the remainder of the current season and further updates on his recovery will be provided in due course.”

Lejeune has started all 12 of the Tyneside outfit’s Premier League games since returning to action in an FA Cup tie against Blackburn.

The 27-year-old joined Newcastle from Eibar in the summer of 2017.

Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle side have been dragged back into a relegation battle after picking up just one win in their last five matches.

The Magpies looked to be safe from trouble when they registered a shock victory against Manchester City before beating Burnley and Huddersfield in back-to-back fixtures.

Newcastle are back in action this Friday against Leicester.