By Tom Easterby
Moussa Sissoko is set to miss the visit of Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
The Frenchman, who has three league goals to him name this term, suffered a hamstring injury in last weekend's 4-0 defeat at Southampton and manager Alan Pardew confirmed the 24-year-old will be out of action for "at least two or three weeks".
The Magpies' boss is attempting to guide his side to a double over the Red Devils after their 1-0 win at Old Trafford in December, at a time when they have been deprived of the services of some key first-teamers such as Loic Remy, Mathieu Debuchy and Tim Krul.
"We've got a real injury crisis at the moment," explained Pardew.
"We lost Moussa this week at the Southampton game, so of the team that started when we beat Manchester United, five won't play through injury or having left the Club (Krul, Debuchy, Remy, Sissoko and Yohan Cabaye)."
The 52-year-old hopes Sissoko will make a return before the end of the season, but praised the powerful former Toulouse man's contribution to the cause so far this campaign.
"He's been a terrific player for us and has had a great season," said Pardew.
"Last year he was finding his feet in this division, and I think he'll get better. He's only a young player and this year has served him well. It's a shame he's not completed all the games but he'll be back before the end."
Full-back Davide Santon is expected to make the squad after returning from injury and illness to make a substitute appearance at St. Mary's last Saturday.
The Italian, Pardew hopes, will provide some much-needed assurance on the ball against the David Moyes' men.
"The thing about Davide is that he's a technician as a full-back, and we need technical players to come to the fore at the moment because that's probably one of the big areas we're falling down on - retaining the ball and having some intelligence going forward," said Newcastle's boss.
"Davide offers us that whether he plays left back, right back or indeed central midfield, where we played him this year."