PAUL Dummett is out of Newcastle United’s visit to the Etihad Stadium – and braced for a spell on the sidelines.
The defender suffered a knee injury in last week’s 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace.
Head coach John Carver was hopeful that Dummett – who took a blow to his kneecap at Selhurst Park – had suffered nothing more serious than bruising.
But the 23-year-old is still in pain ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game against Manchester City.
The problem is still being assessed by the club’s medical staff.
And there are fears that the Wales international – who was on crutches as a precaution in the days after the Palace game – could be sidelined until April.
Carver, already without centre-half Steven Taylor for the rest of the campaign, is short of defensive options following the departures of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Davide Santon this season.
Newcastle can ill-afford to lose Fabricio Coloccini or Mike Williamson, Carver’s only two fit senior central defenders, to injury or suspension.
The club chose not strengthen it’s squad in last month’s transfer window.
And two young defenders – Remie Streete and Kevin Mbabu – were also loaned to Rangers.
The loss of versatile Dummett – who can play across the back four – for a number of weeks would be a blow to Newcastle, who are 11th in the table ahead of the City game.
Cheik Tiote, meanwhile, is also being assessed after returning from the African Cup of Nations with a knee injury.
However, the midfielder’s campaign could well be over.
Ivory Coast international Tiote – who missed the African Cup of Nations final because of the injury – is likely to be sidelined for as many as 10 weeks.
And the 28-year-old – who former manager Alan Pardew last summer admitted had become “unsettled” at St James’s Park – could have played his last game for the club.
The club rejected a bid for Tiote from an unnamed club last summer.