Newcastle manager Alan Pardew says captain Fabricio Coloccini will be out for "between three and seven weeks" after breaking two bones in his back against Southampton.
Coloccini suffered the injury while attempting a clearance in the 4-2 win, and has returned to Argentina for treatment.
Alan Pardew told the Evening Chronicle: "There's no treatment he can have, he's broken two bones in his back.
"We think it's going to be anything between three and seven weeks. He's gone back (to Argentina) for a week."
Fabricio Coloccini asked to leave the club in January due to personal reasons, but later agreed to stay until the end of the season at least.
His absence from the team means January signing Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa will get a chance to forge a partnership with Steven Taylor.
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