Demba Ba forced off on Newcastle return

The Senegal striker, who was making his first return to St James' Park following his January move, suffered a suspected broken nose after a clash with Fabricio Coloccini
Demba Ba endured a miserable return to Newcastle on Saturday after he was forced off after just 43 minutes with a suspected broken nose.

The Senegal striker, who moved to Chelsea earlier this month, had been recalled to the starting line-up by Rafa Benitez in place of Fernando Torres but was injured in a collision with his former team-mate Fabricio Coloccini, shortly before Jonas Gutierrez had given the hosts a deserved lead.

Frank Lampard’s ball over the top released the former West Ham striker and when his initial effort was blocked by Tim Krul, Ba’s attempt to convert the follow-up with his head ended in pain when Coloccini’s right boot connected with his nose.

Ba, who remains Newcastle's top goalscorer this season, re-entered the fray after five minutes of treatment to a chorus of boos from the home support, sporting a large bandage over his face but was unable to continue and was replaced by Torres.

The injury leaves Benitez short of striking options having opted against recalling Romelu Lukaku, currently on loan at West Brom, in January.