Papiss Cisse is facing a month on the sidelines at Newcastle United – and three players are walking a disciplinary tightrope.
Cisse is facing a number of weeks on the sidelines after suffering a groin injury against Aston Villa before Christmas.
And the striker could miss the bulk, if not all, of next month’s fixtures.
“It’s going to be quite a few weeks,” said head coach McClaren.
Cisse’s injury could also have implications for next months transfer window.
The injury to the 30-year-old – who has himself long been linked with moves away from St James’s Park – leaves McClaren short of striking options at the relegation-threatened club.
Newcastle are understood to be in the market for a striker, though McClaren has refused to discuss the window in recent weeks.
In the absence of Cisse on Boxing Day, McClaren turned to summer signing Aleksandar Mitrovic to lead his line against Everton.
Mitrovic, however, missed United’s best chance in the game, which McClaren’s side lost 1-0.
And the result left Newcastle in the Premier League’s relegation zone ahead of this afternoon’s game against West Bromwich Albion.
Mitrovic himself had only just made the game, having passed a late fitness test on an ankle problem that had bothered him in the build up to the clash.
McClaren could recall Siem de Jong, an unused substitute against Roberto Martinez’s side, to his starting XI at The Hawthorns, where Vurnon Anita, Ayoze Perez and Cheick Tiote will hope to avoid a booking.
All three players are a yellow card away from an automatic one-game ban.
Ivory Coast midfielder Tiote – who did not make it off the bench against Everton – is pushing for a recall to the starting XI against West Brom.