Newcastle United centre back Fabricio Coloccini will be out for up to seven weeks after breaking bones in his back, manager Alan Pardew said on Thursday.
The 31-year-old defender has returned to his native Argentina after sustaining the injury when he fell awkwardly during the club's 4-2 Premier League win over Southampton on February 24.
"Colo has gone back to Argentina," Pardew was quoted as saying by local media.
"There's no treatment he can have - he's broken two of the bones in his back. We think it's going to be anything between three and seven weeks. He's gone back for a week."
Coloccini pledged to stay with Newcastle until the end of the season after seeking a move away in January.
He will now miss both legs of Newcastle's Europa League last 16 clash against Anzhi Makhachkala as well as a string of important Premier League matches for the side, who are 15th in the table.
Italian named as the referee for this Saturday's Champions League final
Spurs miss out on Champions League again despite highest Premier League points tally
Champions closer to matching Real Madrid's La Liga record of 100 points with 2-1 win
AC Milan score twice in last six minutes to beat relegated Siena 2-1 to finish third
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010