Rafa Benitez fears that Dwight Gayle will miss a crucial run of games for Newcastle United.
The striker limped out of last night’s 2-0 win over Aston Villa after suffering a recurrence of the hamstring problem which kept him out for almost a month.
Gayle will miss Saturday’s home game against Bristol City.
And the 20-goal player is also doubtful for the away fixtures against Brighton and Hove Albion, Huddersfield Town and Reading.
The Villa win saw Newcastle go a point clear at the top of the Championship.
But United manager Benitez was “disappointed” to lose Gayle, who had been handed his first start in more than a month.
“Dwight was doing well in training,” said Benitez.
“He had a baby last week, and some days he was not sleeping. Maybe putting everything together, he wasn’t that comfortable from the start.
“We had to make the substitution. It’s the same problem. He’ll miss some games, but hopefully it’s not too bad.”
Gayle was replaced by Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Yoan Gouffran put Newcastle ahead after the break.
An own goal from Henri Lansbury early in the second half set up a comfortable win over struggling Villa, who are in danger of getting sucked into a relegation battle.
“We said before that every game in the Championship is diffficult,” said Benitez.
“We were up against a good team with good players, and we have to give credit to them.
“Our second goal was important, because we could settle and be more dangerous.
“They have very good players. They can pass. They can run and beat players one versus one. At the moment, they maybe don’t have the confidence.”