NEWCASTLE United are hopeful that Daryl Janmaat will be fit to face Aston Villa – despite being forced off at the Etihad Stadium.
Janmaat left the field against Manchester City on Saturday with a tight groin.
Newcastle United head coach John Carver – whose side were convincing, and embarrassingly, beaten 5-0 by the Premier League champions – can ill-afford to lose any more defenders to injury.
Paul Dummett was last week ruled out for up to 12 weeks with a knee problem.
And Janmaat has been earmarked as an emergency centre-half by Carver should Fabricio Coloccini or Mike Williamson – the club’s only two fit senior central defenders – be ruled out through injury or suspension between now and the end of the campaign.
However, Carver says Janmaat’s withdrawal was precautionary, and he expects the 25-year-old to be available for Saturday’s game against relegation-threatened Villa at St James’s Park.
“He’s got a tight groin,” said Carver.
“I don’t think it’s anything serious at the moment, but it is tight, and we took it off as a precaution.”
Asked about the club’s threadbare defensive resources, and the possibility of losing Janmaat, Carver added: “I’m not going to make excuses.
“I’ll deal with it. I’ll adjust accordingly, and get on with it.”
Janmaat was replaced by fit-again utility player Ryan Taylor in the 71st minute.
It was Taylor’s first appearance since November, when he suffered a set-back on his comeback from the twice-ruptured cruciate ligament which had kept him out for more than two years.
The 30-year-old’s joy at finally getting back on the field was tempered by the result.
Taylor said: “For me, it was pleasing to get back on the pitch. I love playing for this football club and have done since the day I signed.
“I was given the chance to play about 20 minutes, and it was nice to be back out there, although not in the circumstances of the game.”