MEHDI Abeid has almost certainly kicked his last ball for Newcastle United until February.
The midfielder, recovering from a broken toe, is out of the club’s festive programme.
And United manager Alan Pardew, without suspended Cheik Tiote for the Boxing Day visit to Manchester United, doesn’t expect him to be fit before he leaves for the African Cup of Nations.
Abeid has been selected in Algeria’s squad for the tournament, which is being staged in Equatorial Guinea.
Newcastle must release the 22-year-old for a training camp ahead of the competition, which kicks off on January 17.
Abeid suffered the toe injury training with Algeria last month, and returned against Burnley on December 2.
However, he has not featured since the club’s 1-1 draw at Turf Moor.
“He’s running,” said Pardew. “They say his toe is finally healing.
“We had a period where it wasn’t healing at all.
“That timing is not ideal, either, because he’s probably going to go away.”
Asked if he expected Abeid to return for United before he links up with Algeria, Pardew said: “I don’t think so.”
Tiote and striker Papiss Demba Cisse will go to the tournament with Ivory Coast and Senegal.
Midfielder Tiote, meanwhile, picked up his fifth booking of the season in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Sunderland.
The 28-year-old will now serve a one-game suspension and be available again for the visit of Everton to St James’s Park on December 28.
Pardew refused to dwell on the club’s fourth successive derby defeat in his pre-match Press conference.
Newcastle were beaten by a 90th-minute goal from Adam Johnson as they themselves pushed for a breakthrough.
“We have to move on, it’s as simple as that,” he said.
“We can’t dwell on it. It was a performance that was pretty good, but it wasn’t enough. We have good spirit and character in the squad.
“In terms of how we lost the game, if we were going to lose a game, I’d rather we lost it like that.”
Meanwhile, winger Rolando Aarons is still several weeks away from a return.
The 19-year-old, sidelined with a hamstring problem, could return late next month.
Defender Davide Santon – who had a knee operation in the summer – isn’t far away from a comeback.
“Davide, another player who technically improves us, is getting closer,” said Pardew