By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Fabricio Coloccini could be sidelined for up to six weeks after suffering medial ligament damage at West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.
United's skipper pulled up in pain following a second-half challenge and was eventually replaced in the 65th minute, as the Magpies went on to suffer a 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat.
Coloccini left the Hawthorns on crutches and will be further assessed by Newcastle's medical staff over the coming days.
However, based on the early signs, manager Alan Pardew expects to be without the influential centre-back until at least the start of February.
"I think he's got a ligament problem, so it could be four-to-six weeks," revealed Pardew to nufcTV.
"That's another disappointment and it was a day that didn't work out for us."
As the boss alluded to, it was a tough day all round for those of a black-and-white persuassion.
As well as losing their captain to injury, Newcastle saw full-back Mathieu Debuchy given a straight red card for a two-footed lunge on Claudio Yacob, before conceding a late penalty, which Saido Berahino converted.
Pardew had no complaints with either of the big decisions but was full of praise for the endeavours of his side in difficult conditions.
"When Mathieu sees it, he knows you can't take off with two feet," he said, of the sending-off.
"He's a fair player, he's been our best player and we're going to miss him.
"(For the penalty), he's going away from goal so it's not a sending-off, but two crucial moments in the game have cost us three points.
"It was a tight affair, we were in the game and controlled most of it with great possession, but the red card changed it.
"The players gave everything, our fans couldn't fault that and we almost got an equaliser with ten men, so I can't complain about the effort and commitment of the team."