Benitez was delighted to see the captain make his return as a late substitute against Stoke City.
"As a manager you need to know how your players are at the moment and what it means to play one or another," he explained.
"You have to consider all options, but in the case of John, he's still not fully fit. He knows that, we know that, and the best way to help the team is to play him when he is ready.
"The match fitness takes some time, especially when you have been eight weeks without playing or training."