Owen out of derby clash
Struggling Newcastle must do without captain Michael Owen for their trip to rivals Sunderland on Saturday as the striker continues to recover from a groin strain.
Owen picked up the injury in training last week and there had been outside hopes that he would be back to lead the line in the Wear-Tyne derby.
But interim manager Joe Kinnear has confirmed that he has not yet shaken off the complaint and is also likely to miss the home match against West Brom on October 28.
"Michael, unfortunately, will not be fit in time for Sunderland and, of course, that's a blow to lose a striker of his calibre,'' he told the club's official website.
"I think Tuesday's game against West Brom will also come too soon so Aston Villa in 10 days time is now the target.''
The good news for Magpies fans is that Jonas Gutierrez is on the way back to full fitness and looks set to play some part against the Black Cats.
The Argentinian has been out with a shoulder injury but has resumed training.
Kinnear added: "I will assess him over the next 24 hours as to whether he starts from the bench or not.
"I love the look of him in training and look forward to seeing him in action.''