LOIC Remy could be a month away from his Newcastle United debut.
The striker has joined the club on a season-long loan from relegated Queens Park Rangers.
Remy, the club’s only signing so far this summer, was quickly ruled out of Monday night’s Premier League season-opener at Manchester City with a calf problem after undergoing a medical on Tyneside.
And it’s looking increasingly unlikely that he will play this month, according to United manager Alan Pardew.
Instead, Remy – who is yet to join in full training on Tyneside – could make his first appearance for Newcastle at Aston Villa on September 14.
“Remy is still on the road to recovery,” said Pardew.
“Man City will come too soon, and so might West Ham and Fulham.
“It’s becoming increasingly likely he will be unavailable - he’s not kicked a ball yet, and only been running.”
With Remy – who came close to joining United in January – having not had a proper pre-season at QPR, Pardew and his staff will err on the side of caution.
“It’s very important that we make sure he’s right,” he said.
United’s squad has come through a gruelling pre-season campaign largely unscathed, though Jonas Gutierrez suffered a leg injury in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Braga.
The midfielder is a doubt for the club’s visit to the City of Manchester Stadium.
A number of first-team players, including Yoan Gouffran, Gabriel Obertan and Dan Gosling, topped up their fitness in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Liverpool on Tuesday.
Pardew said “It was a good work out for us. A lot of players played 45 minutes.
“I think we needed a game more than a training session, and one or two were ready for that, people like Obertan and Gosling.
“It was a good game played in good spirit. We’re getting the players right.”