Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder has revealed defender Titus Bramble has spent eight days in hospital after an alarming flare-up in his injured calf.
The 25-year-old's lower leg swelled to twice its normal size days after he picked up a knock during the 0-0 UEFA Cup draw with Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany on November 30.
Bramble was admitted to hospital last week and has been there ever since.
Roeder said: 'Titus has spent eight days in hospital because we were very worried about the swelling in his calf - and when I say that you cannot probably imagine how large the swelling had become.
'The whole half of the bottom of his leg had doubled in size. Thankfully, the doctors got to him in time and saw what the problem was.'
Bramble has now undergone treatment for the injury and is expected to be released from hospital in the next couple of days.
However, it could be next month before he is available for selection again.
Roeder told the club's website: 'He is probably three weeks away from being fit, which could take him out until the new year.
'It is a real shame as he was having his best run when that happened.'
Bramble is one of 13 senior players currently on the injury list and with Craig Moore also sidelined Roeder has been forced to turn to youngsters Steven Taylor and Peter Ramage, who have impressed.