NEWCASTLE United are sweating on an injury to skipper and talisman Fabricio Coloccini after he limped out of a training camp with Argentina.
United are seeking an urgent update on what is understood to be a muscle problem in his right leg and with Danny Simpson and Ryan Taylor already out of action, they can ill afford another defensive injury.
Argentina yesterday put Guillermo Burdisso of Boca Juniors on standby as they ran tests on Coloccini’s injury, which could force him to withdraw from the World Cup qualifying double-header with Paraguay and Peru.
United hope to have a better idea of the problem today but compatriot Jonas Gutierrez admitted that Coloccini’s injury – along with knocks to Simpson, Taylor and Cheick Tioté – were a worry as the club prepared for a “hard season”.
The Newcastle winger also admitted to The Journal that United’s performance on Sunday against Aston Villa fell below the expected standard of Alan Pardew’s men, although he offered the mitigation of their midweek European engagement as a possible reason for their sub-par display.
Looking ahead to the rest of the campaign, he admitted it would be difficult for the squad to cope with the increased workload unless they were focused as a unit.
“We have to try to be ready as a team, and to play as a team. We have to be strong as a group and not think as individuals,” the Argentinian said.
“We have a few problems with injuries as well, which is a big problem because we don’t have a big squad.
“I hope the injured players players come back and recover quickly, but we know that we have Ryan, we have Danny, Shola (Ameobi) is coming on, Cheick and now Colo too.