Fabricio Coloccini is set for a reprieve at the heart of Steve McClaren’s Newcastle United defence – after Mike Williamson suffered an injury.
Williamson’s was this week recalled from an emergency loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Head coach McClaren took the decision to recall the defender in the wake of last weekend’s 5-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, when Coloccini produced a poor performance in the centre of defence, and a hamstring injury suffered by Jamaal Lascelles.
But Williamson – whose loan at Molineux had been extended until January 16 – is doubtful for Sunday’s home game against Liverpool (4pm kick-off).
The 32-year-old “tweaked his hamstring” in training on Tyneside and is having a scan ahead of the visit of Jurgen Klopp’s in-form side to St James’s Park.
Lascelles is also unavailable along with midfielder Cheick Tiote, who has a hamstring problem.
Asked if Williamson had a chance of starting, McClaren, who had been considering dropping captain Coloccini, said: “We would have looked at that this week, but he has tweaked his hamstring in training.
“He has to have a scan. We’ll know more later, but it’s a worry.”
McClaren had hoped to have Tiote available again for the Liverpool game, but the 29-year-old has failed to recover in time from the injury he suffered in the home defeat to Leicester City last month.
Lascelles, meanwhile, suffered a hamstring problem after coming off the bench at Selhurst Park last Saturday.