NEWCASTLE United captain Fabricio Coloccini is facing up to EIGHT weeks on the sidelines, according to a report.
Coloccini has been allowed to return to his native Argentina to start his rehabilitation after suffering a groin injury on international duty.
United manager Alan Pardew is yet to put a timescale on Coloccini’s return, though he has publicly ruled him out of Sunday’s Wear-Tyne derby.
However, The Independent report that the 31-year-old is not expected to play until Christmas, meaning the influential player could miss up to 10 games.
It is not clear whether Coloccini needs surgery on his groin.
Pardew will also be without the suspended defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa against Sunderland, though centre half Steven Taylor returned to training this week after recovering from a hamstring problem.