Exclusive: Newcastle hit by injury to captain Fabricio Coloccini

The Argentine defender will be out for most of March

Newcastle are expected to be without their captain Fabricio Coloccini for most of March because of the back injury he suffered during their 4-2 victory against Southampton last weekend.

The Argentine defender injured his back attempting an acrobatic clearance during the first half in the crucial win that moved the club clear of the relegation zone. He immediately limped off on the stroke of half-time and was replaced by new signing Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Alan Pardew had hoped the influential Coloccini would be ready to return for Newcastle's trip to Swansea tomorrow.

However the back injury has not cleared and Coloccini could miss at least five games, including the club's two-legged Europa League tie with Anzhi Makhachkala. Pardew does at least have a direct replacement in Yanga-Mbiwa following the club's recruitment of five new players during the January transfer window.

Coloccini had tried to leave Newcastle during January because of personal problems, but he was threatened with legal action if he followed his threat to walk out. Pardew has carefully manoeuvred the player back into the heart of his side, and bravely maintained the 30-year-old as his captain. His absence will be a blow, with Newcastle looking for a strong finish to their season.

They have been further rocked in that quest, however, with confirmation that first choice goalkeeper Tim Krul will also be missing for the next month following the ankle injury he picked up during their Europa League victory against Metalist. Rob Elliot will continue to deputise in his absence.

Pardew is also hoping Hatem Ben Arfa will emerge to play a significant part in the final part of the season. Ben Arfa has missed three months because of a serious hamstring injury. He did not require surgery but spent large parts of his recuperation at Clairefontaine in France.

The player has missed some training sessions because of illness, which means if he has a role to play at Swansea, it will be minimal. Pardew however, wants the player to step up his recovery to make an impact.

"His conditioning has to go up the levels now and he's aware of that," said Pardew. "He's been protecting his hamstrings. It's now a question of trying to get that work in, so the message I am giving the fans is don't expect too much here. This guy, where I thought perhaps he could start on Thursday (in Moscow), I don't think he can physically but we are pushing him. We're going to push him for Thursday if we can.

"There is no blame attached to him. He had a little trouble this week with illness so he missed a day and he has missed a couple of days here and there which have cost him. I think that from now on, he cannot miss any more days but I am not being critical of him, definitely not.

"I am just telling our fans because I know our fans are like, "Let's get Hatem in the team,' and he ain't ready."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...