Newcastle midfielder Kieron Dyer is facing another spell on the sidelines after luck deserted him once again.
The 27-year-old, told today he remains in England manager Steve McClaren's plans, will miss tomorrow night's Premiership match against Reading with a badly gashed thigh.
Manager Glenn Roeder confirmed the injury, sustained in a collision with advertising hoardings during the win over Portsmouth on November 26, could keep Dyer out for several games.
That will come as a huge blow to the influential midfielder after his six-month lay-off with a hamstring problem and the freak eye injury which interrupted his comeback.
Roeder said: 'Kieron, unfortunately, is having a run of luck that you just cannot believe.
'First of all, he had a freak accident on the training ground where he missed a couple of game because a pole rebounded into his eye and caused him a problem for a few weeks.
'Now, trying so hard to keep the ball in play - which he did to get a cross in - he slid out of play, hit one of the boards and has got a nasty cut on the side of his leg.
'He has got to be doubtful for a few games. We are just monitoring that day by day.'
Roeder could have done with Dyer after seeing his squad decimated by injuries, with Titus Bramble having joined Michael Owen, Scott Parker, Damien Duff, Shola Ameobi, Craig Moore, Steve Harper, Olivier Bernard and Tim Krul on the casualty list.
The 50-year-old former West Ham boss admits he has never known anything like it.
Roeder said: 'No-one has, not just me. Derek Wright was here when I was a player, so he goes back 25 years as a physio; Terry McDermott is even older than me.
'None of us have ever been involved in an injury-hit squad as bad as this.
'Honestly, most managers when they talk about bare bones, they are talking about being down to the last 16.
'I have not said anything yet and we are basically down to 10 senior players.
'The team picks itself for tomorrow night. Even thinking about the weekend, I do not see too many coming back for that either.'
Newcastle's need for a victory against a side who have won four consecutive league games could hardly be more acute.
The Magpies slipped back into the bottom three over the weekend, when they did not play.
Roeder will have Celestine Babayaro fit and hopes Stephen Carr will make it too, while on-loan Manchester United striker Giuseppe Rossi could also be involved.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson voiced his disappointment at the weekend at the Italy Under-21 international's lack of chances, although he has featured in eight of the 11 games for which he has been available.
Roeder said: 'I have not been in contact with Sir Alex. An experienced manager, as he is, he will understand I have got to do my job the way I see it.
'Seppe Rossi was at a funeral in Milan for our last Premiership game against Portsmouth, and of course Manchester United did not want him playing for us in Europe.
'But he is available again tomorrow and I am delighted he is. He should play some part for us.'