Newcastle have been dealt a blow after learning Gabriel Obertan is facing up to fourth months on the sidelines after re-injuring his hamstring.
The French winger, who previously underwent surgery on the same hamstring after damaging it at the end of September, was due to return within the next few weeks.
But the former Manchester United player, who had figured in Steve McClaren’s plans before first suffering the injury, has been dealt a fresh blow and will now be absent until the end of February.
“It’s a serious concern and a disappointment for him because he felt he was getting an opportunity at the start of the season,” said McClaren.
“We feel for him because it’s a bad injury.”
Obertan’s setback could see £13million summer signing Florian Thauvin handed more chances to impress. The winger has endured a slow start to his Magpies career, featuring just nine times since arriving from Marseille in August.