Newcastle United have been dealt another major blow with the news Shola Ameobi could be out for some time with a suspected fractured cheekbone.
The Magpies sold star striker Andy Carroll to Liverpool earlier this week after the 22-year-old handed in a transfer request, and boss Alan Pardew had turned to Ameobi and Leon Best to fill the void.
However, Ameobi lasted just 13 minutes of Wednesday night’s 1-0 defeat at Fulham before being forced off with the injury.
The 29-year-old was caught by Steve Sidwell’s elbow during a challenge and had to be treated on the field before finally leaving the field, to be replaced by Nile Ranger.
Pardew said: “The diagnosis is not good. He has a dent in his cheekbone which suggests a fracture.”
The Magpies boss is now left with just Best, Ranger and Peter Lovenkrands to call upon, and Pardew admitted the first two men had not been up to scratch against Fulham.
He added: “I will be honest about the strikers.
“They weren't as good as they have been. Young Nile has got a lot to learn and Leon Best, unfortunately for Leon, didn't have a good night.
“Maybe there was a little added pressure on them - they're going to have to deal with that.”