Steve Bruce has confirmed that James Chester will be sidelined for six-to-eight weeks after pulling his hamstring against Newcastle United last weekend.
Chester pulled up in added time at St James’ Park and scans have since confirmed Bruce’s fears of a spell on the sidelines for the centre back.
“The injury is what we feared,” said Bruce.
“We feared it would be 6-8 weeks just by looking at him at the time because when you do your hamstring, you can hardly put one foot in front of the other and you feel very, very sore. That is how James was in the changing room afterwards.
“We feared it would be that and the scans have confirmed it.
“I keep talking about needing luck with injuries. We now have Koren out for eight weeks and James Chester out for eight weeks – let’s hope we can get away with it this week and not pick up any more major ones.”
The focus will now be on who replaces Chester for Saturday’s home game against West Ham United with Abdoulaye Faye and Alex Bruce putting their cases forward in Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup win against Huddersfield Town and Paul McShane having an outside chance of being fit for the weekend.
“Tuesday was too early for Paul McShane because he has been out for ten or 12 days with a hamstring strain,” added Bruce.
“We’ll see how he is on Thursday but he could possibly be available.”
Maynor Figueroa is expected to be available to face the Hammers with the left back due to arrive back in England today after being allowed to return to his home country of Honduras last week on compassionate grounds.
“Everything has been resolved and thankfully it was a happy outcome,” finished Bruce.