NEWCASTLE United have been hit by a double injury blow.
Cheik Tiote is facing up to 10 weeks out with the knee injury which saw him ruled out of the African Cup of Nations finals.
Such a timescale would rule the midfielder out of all but the last month of the campaign.
And there are fears that the knee problem suffered by Paul Dummett at Selhurst Park this week could sideline him for a number of weeks.
The versatile defender took a blow to his kneecap after coming off the bench in Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw.
Tiote was pictured with his knee heavily bandaged during the Ivory Coast’s African Cup of Nations campaign, which ended with defeat to Ghana on penalties in the showpiece in Equatorial Guinea.
The 28-year-old reported back to United’s training ground this week.
Tiote and Dummett’s injuries are still being assessed by the club’s medical staff, and the injuries are a concern to head coach John Carver, whose squad is vulnerable to injury, especially in defence.
Carver is short of options at the back with centre-half Steven Taylor already ruled out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
The 50-year-old has just two senior centre-halves available – captain Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson.
Central defender Remie Streete was last week loaned out to Rangers.
However, the 20-year-old, from South Shields, is himself sidelined, having suffered a groin injury on his debut last weekend.
The Gazette understands that Streete is facing a two-week lay-off.
Curtis Good, meanwhile, was taken off in an Under-21 game at St James’s Park last week as a “precaution” by football development manager Peter Beardsley.
The 21-year-old defender only recently returned from a nine-month spell out with a hip problem.