Newcastle striker Andy Carroll is to fly to Sweden tomorrow to consult a specialist over his troublesome thigh injury.
The 22-year-old, whose 11 goals to date this season fuelled the Magpies' solid first half of the season, has missed the last five games with a tear in the muscle, but was taken on the club's training break to Portugal.
Manager Alan Pardew had hoped to have him back in action for the Barclays Premier League trip to Fulham on February 2, but the club is now to seek the help of a renowned Swedish specialist in an effort to get to the bottom of the problem.
Speaking on BBC Radio Newcastle from the club's Portugal training camp, Pardew said: "We brought him to Portugal to start running and the disappointing news is that he hasn't.
"His injury is in the muscle just above the tendon where it joins the knee, so it's not an area that gets great circulation, so therefore it doesn't heal quickly.
"We have had a consultation this week to send him to someone who's the world's best tendon repair expert.
"You get these experts in different fields and this guy is in the Arctic end of Sweden and he is flying out there on Friday, and we are hoping that we can turn him around quickly.
"But now I have to say that Fulham is definitely out and maybe even Arsenal."
Newcastle sent Carroll to Dubai in the hope that a warm weather break would speed up his recovery ahead of the Wear-Tyne derby earlier this month.
While Shola Ameobi, Leon Best, Peter Lovenkrands and Nile Ranger have performed admirably in his absence, they are desperate to have the man who has proved pivotal to their hopes of retaining their top-flight status back in harness for the crucial remaining games of the season.
There are also concerns over midfielder Dan Gosling, who has suffered a reaction to his return to action from a long-term knee injury as a substitute at Sunderland, amid suggestions he may need exploratory surgery to assess the problem.Reuse content