SIEM de Jong is facing up to FOUR months on the sidelines at Newcastle United.
Newcastle’s £6m summer signing has suffered a torn groin muscle.
And the problem is likely to keep de Jong out until early next year.
Luckless De Jong had a lengthy spell out with Ajax last term after suffering a collapsed lung.
And he was troubled by calf and toe problems after linking up with his new club in July.
The 25-year-old’s latest injury is a huge blow to United’s under-fire manager Alan Pardew, who loaned forward Hatem Ben Arfa to Hull City on transfer deadline day.
De Jong took Ben Arfa’s No10 squad number.
Newcastle failed to sign the extra striker that many fans felt the club badly needed before the transfer window closed on Monday night.
And much attacking responsibilty was to rest on the shoulders of vice-captain de Jong, who was signed for his vision, passing and goalscoring.
The Holland international’s injury, which was suffered in training, is still being assessed.
But the Gazette understands that the club fear that de Jong will be out until January.
Without him, Pardew’s attacking options look limited, though teenage winger Rolando Aarons has impressed.
Jack Colback’s calf problem is also being assessed by United’s medical team. The midfielder was forced out of England’s squad for Monday night’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland in Basel by the problem.
Colback – who also missed Wednesday night’s 1-0 friendly win over Norway – had been hoping to earn his first cap for his country.
“He took a very nasty kick on the back of the calf,” said England coach Roy Hodgson.
“We were hoping he would train with us, but he can’t do that, so it’s better to send him back to Newcastle.”
Meanwhile, Cheik Tiote, yet to appear for Newcastle this season, is pencilled in to return against Southampton.
The midfielder has been called up for the Ivory Coast’s African Nations Cup qualifiers, but it is not clear whether he will feature for his country during the international break.
Pardew said last week that Tiote – who had a hamstring problem – was edging closer to full fitness.
The 28-year-old – who had been linked with a move away from the club in the summer transfer window – made just one pre-season appearance for United.