Newcastle United goalkeeper Shay Given could be facing another bout of surgery to repair his latest groin injury.
The 31-year-old Republic of Ireland international failed to re-appear after the break in Saturday's 5-1 Premier League defeat by Manchester United as he had aggravated the problem he had suffered at Aston Villa a fortnight earlier.
Given has already been ruled out of this weekend's crucial visit of former club Blackburn Rovers to St James' Park, and there are fears that another operation is required after a string of similar problems.
The Rovers old boy is expected to see a specialist this week and the city's evening newspaper, the Evening Chronicle, is reporting that, should he need surgery, his season could be over.
That would come as a huge blow to both Given and his manager Kevin Keegan as the Magpies attempt to halt their slide down the table.
However, Keegan will at least be able to comfort himself with the knowledge that in Steve Harper, he has a more than able deputy.
The 32-year-old replaced his close friend at the break on Saturday, and although he conceded three times, he was left cruelly exposed on several occasions and pulled off two fine saves.
Given has been blighted by groin problems ever since the horrific collision with then West Ham striker Marlon Harewood which left him with a perforated bowel in September 2006.