Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor is likely to miss the rest of the season after suffering an Achilles tendon injury during his team’s 3-0 defeat to Chelsea.
The 25-year old will have surgery on Monday and the club have revealed that he will face a long spell on the sidelines.
A club spokesman said: "Steven sustained an Achilles injury yesterday at the end of our game with Chelsea. After medical assessment, he will be having surgery tomorrow and it is likely he will be out for the rest of the season."
It is a bitter blow to manager Alan Pardew, who also saw his captain Fabricio Coloccini limp off injured during the first half of Saturday’s match.
The Argentine will be a massive doubt for next weekend’s game against Norwich and the club can ill-afford any more injuries at the back.
James Perch is likely to start the game at Carrow Road, with Mike Williamson still out after a broken arm and an ankle problem.
The Magpies enjoyed a fine start to the season, which had seen them unbeaten in their first eleven games, but they have lost two of their last three fixtures and slipped to sixth in the table.
Pardew will be hoping that his team can cope with the loss of key personnel as they look to keep up their push for a place in Europe with key games against Norwich, Swansea, West Brom and Bolton in the next month.