Newcastle United are refusing to put a timescale on Rolando Aarons’ comeback as striker Emmanuel Riviere battles to overcome a series of setbacks.
Aarons suffered a foot injury in training this month, and Steve McClaren had hoped he would return next month.
But the teenager – who could be loaned out when he returns to fitness – is unlikely to play again this year.
“Unfortunately, Rolando is still on crutches, so we’re not really sure how long that will take,” said head coach McClaren.
“At the moment, we’re just trying to focus on the fit ones.”
Aarons is out of contract next summer, though the Magpies have the option of another 12 months. Talks over a new deal broke down late last year.
Before the England Under-20 international – who missed most of last season with thigh and hamstring problems – suffered his latest injury, McClaren said a loan for him as a “possibility”.
Aarons made a stunning first-team breakthrough under Alan Pardew last season before succumbing to injury.
Riviere, meanwhile, is closing in on a return from knee surgery after a series of “setbacks and niggles”.
The striker, signed from Monaco last year, had an operation in the summer, and has not played this season.
But McClaren hopes he will soon be in contention for a place in his first-team squad.
“Manu keeps having little setbacks and niggles, but we’re hoping we might get him back into training in the next week or two,” said McClaren.
Jack Colback is on course to return for Newcastle next month – and defender Steven Taylor, sidelined since September with a hamstring problem, is not far behind him.
Colback suffered a knee injury against former club Sunderland last month, with the midfielder ruled out for “up to six weeks” at the time.
McClaren said: “Jack’s progressing really well, and we’re delighted with him so far.”
He added: “Steven will be fighting to play any part in December. We’re probably looking more at the start of next year with him.”