Newcastle utility man Ryan Taylor could be sidelined for up to 12 weeks by an ankle ligament injury suffered in training.
Taylor, who can play at either right-back or on the right side of midfield, is understood to have been hurt in a challenge with former England defender Sol Campbell last week.
The Magpies have confirmed that the 26-year-old will be out for "10 to 12 weeks", and that means he will be unavailable during the busy Christmas period.
Taylor has made just four appearances to date this season with his only three starts all coming in the Carling Cup.
However, his loss will deprive manager Chris Hughton of the services of a man who can fulfil a variety of roles just at the time he might have been needed most.
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms