Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew admits that he is sweating over the fitness of midfield ace Cheick Tiote.
Tiote limped out of Newcastle's pre-season defeat at Cardiff with a calf injury.
And now Pardew has confirmed he is a doubt for their season opener against Tottenham next weekend.
He also says that skipper Fabricio Coloccini also has a slight problem following the game in the Welsh capital - which Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse both missed.
"Cheick has a calf strain so we will have to monitor him. We are sweating on him for next Saturday," said Pardew.
"Colo also has a knock but I'm not sure how that is. He is due to travel to Argentina but we will have to assess him, too.'
The news on Tiote is a major blow, given Pardew feels he has returned for pre-season in superb form.
"Cheick looks ten times better than he did last year, and I absolutely mean that," Pardew added.
"He did not come back well last summer, if I am honest. However, he has summered well this time and is in great physical shape.
"It is going to be a big season for Cheick. All my, what I would call big players, are important if we are to progress as a team, and Cheick fails into that category. He is in a good place."
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