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Newcastle United suffered double injury blow as skipper Fabricio Coloccini is set to miss most of the action in March due to back injury while goal keeper Tim Krul will be side-lined for five weeks after hurting his ankle badly.
The Argentina international who pledged to stay with the club after initially deciding to leave in January, suffered the back problem during the Magpies’ 4-2 victory against Southampton last weekend.
During the match, Coloccini tried to clear a ball acrobatically during the first half where he injured himself and limped off the ground before the half time. Manager Alan Pardew hoped that his skipper would be ready for action against Swansea, but as it stands, he is set to miss at least five games.
The 30-year-old is expected to miss the club’s crucial two-legged Europa League tie with Anzhi Makhachkala. Newcastle looking to finish the second half of the season on a strong note, after a disappointing campaign so far are lying 13th in the table and this news will serve as a big blow to the club’s ambition.
Pardew however has a ready-made replacement in Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, one of the five players signed in the Janaury transfer window.
Meanwhile, goal keeper Tim Krul had been ruled out five weeks after he picked up an ankle injury last week while playing against Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv.
Krul was left on crutches after the game and Pardew expressing his concern was quoted on the BBC website:
“His ankle is still a little bit swollen. We think he will be out for a maximum of four or five weeks, but we are hoping for less than that.”
The problem is further complicated as reserve goal keeper Steve Harper is also struggling with a back problem while 26-year-old Rob Elliot, who made his Premier League debut in Newcastle’s 4-2 win over Southampton on Sunday will continue to deputise in their absence.
There is some good news for the Geordie fans though; Pardew hopes that Hatem Ben Arfa, who has been out for three months due to serious hamstring injury now, will play a significant role in the final part of the season as the Frenchman prepares for a strong comeback.