Newcastle manager Alan Pardew hopes to see captain Fabricio Coloccini return for the club's home game against Stoke on Sunday, conceding that Thursday's Europa League trip to Anzhi Makhachkala will come too soon for the defender.
Coloccini, 31, was taken off during the Magpies' 4-2 win over Southampton last week after sustaining a back injury, following an attempted bicycle kick.
Joking at the time that his centre-back was "too old to be trying stuff like that", Pardew was forced to shuffle his defence for the club's 1-0 defeat at Swansea on Saturday.
Still unable to provide a specific return date, the Newcastle boss is hopeful that the Argentina international will be fit in time for the visit of Tony Pulis' men.
"I'm not sure how long it's going to be," Pardew told the Journal. "I don't think it's as long as we first thought, though, but I don't think Thursday (against Anzhi), that will come too quickly.
"Sunday's game against Stoke is looking more likely but we'll see how he is. With Coloccini out, it is important we have [Steven] Taylor and I thought he was excellent (against Swansea)."
Meanwhile, the club have received confirmation that goalkeeper Tim Krul is likely to miss at least a month of action, following an ankle injury picked up during the last round of the Europa League.
The injury has meant a starting place for Rob Elliot, with the side forced to call young Jak Alnwick, the brother of former Tottenham goalkeeper Ben, to the bench.