NEWCASTLE United’s injury worries are stacking up ahead of their return to Premier League action at home to Queens Park Rangers this coming weekend.
Midfielder Mehdi Abeid is the Magpies’ latest casualty, having picked up a suspected broken toe on international duty with Algeria.
The training injury ruled the 22-year-old out of Saturday’s 3-1 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia. And Abeid could be sidelined for several weeks if there is a fracture.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is also sweating on the fitness of captain Fabricio Coloccini, who limped out of the 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion last weekend with a calf problem.
Coloccini, who was allowed to return to his native Argentina after the game, has been rocked by a series of injury lay-offs in recent years.
But Pardew is hoping that Coloccini – who had several weeks out with a groin problem a year ago – is not facing another spell on the sidelines.
While in Argentina, Newcastle’s captain has met with close friend and team-mate Jonas Gutierrez, who will return to St James’s Park next month after being given the all-clear after undergoing treatment for testicular cancer.
Gutierrez said: “I’m flying back at the beginning of December. It’s something I’m really looking forward to.
“I want to thank the supporters from England. I appreciate all the messages. You gave me the power to beat this cancer. Thank you very much.”
Meanwhile, Pardew – whose side have won their last five league and cup games – hopes to have midfielder Cheik Tiote, defender Steven Taylor and striker Emmanuel Riviere back for the QPR fixture.
Tiote’s Ivory Coast took another step towards African Cup of Nations qualification on Saturday when they beat Sierra Leone 5-1, albeit without him.
Pardew will do a roll call later this week when his internationals, including striker Papiss Cisse – an unused substitute for Senegal against Egypt – return to Tyneside.
Cisse has been troubled by a knee problem in recent weeks.
Senegal – who have now qualified for the African finals – face Botswana in their last qualifier on Wednesday night.