Newcastle have announced midfielder Cheick Tiote will be out for up to three matches with a hamstring injury.
Tiote suffered the injury during training this week and a scan has confirmed the extent of the damage.
He will now definitely miss the upcoming Barclays Premier League matches against Chelsea and Tottenham.
The loss of the influential and tough-tackling Tiote could hardly come at a worse time for the Magpies.
The club are struggling to cope without Yohan Cabaye, whose departure to Paris St Germain left them without their greatest attacking asset, and are coming to terms with a 3-0 home defeat by local rivals Sunderland.
Tiote has made 24 appearances in all competitions this term, captaining the team in the absence of Fabricio Coloccini.