NEWCASTLE captain Fabricio Coloccini is facing up to EIGHT weeks out, according to a report.
Coloccini has been allowed to return to his native Argentina to start his rehabilitation after suffering a groin injury on international duty.
Manager Alan Pardew is yet to put a timescale on Coloccini’s return, though he has publicly ruled him out of Sunday’s Wear-Tyne derby.
However, The Independent has reported that the 31-year-old is not expected to play until Christmas, meaning the influential player could miss up to 10 games.
It is not clear whether Coloccini needs surgery on his groin.
Pardew will also be without the suspended defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa against Sunderland, though centre-half Steven Taylor returned to training this week after recovering from a hamstring problem.
H Forgotten man Emmanuel Adebayor’s road to redemption could start away to Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League tonight.
Fit-again Adebayor could make his first seasonal bow, while Aaron Lennon may return after a foot injury.
“He travelled,” boss Andre Villas-Boas said of Adebayor. “There is a chance he could be involved, but I’m not sure if he’s starting or not.
“We can make six or seven changes now, which keeps the players fresh and motivated.”