News this morning that Newcastle star Jack Colback is expected to be missing for months, with a predicted return date of sometime after the new year.

After a ‘challenge’ from Lee Cattermole, Jack Colback was forced off on Sunday and was then pictured limping out of the Stadium of light on crutches after the match, wearing a knee brace.

The Shields Gazette report that according to their club sources, the medical staff have said it will be months not weeks before the first choice midfielder is back playing.

First team coach Paul Simpson had previously confirmed that Jack Colback has already had one scan on the injury, with another scan scheduled this week, plus appointments with specialists to examine the full extent of the injury.

With Mehdi Abeid allowed to leave in the summer, it looks like Cheick Tiote will have to step into Colback’s role. The Ivory Coast midfielder’s comeback appearances have both ended with a substitution at half-time, with him looking way off the pace and as usual prone to give away the ball in dangerous situations.

Tiote has though retained one of his natural abilities, managing to pick up yellow cards in both brief appearances against Sunderland and Norwich.

Paul Simpson talking to the club’s official TV channel:

“Jack Colback is seeing specialists this week. He left the stadium on crutches and with a knee brace on.

“To be honest that is more of a precautionary measure, we don’t know the full extent of the damage.

“He was obviously very sore when it happened and I have to say I didn’t think it was a bad challenge, I don’t lay any blame on Cattermole for the challenge. It was one of those wholehearted tackles that you see in derby games, that we all want to see.

“Juts unfortunate that Jack took the brunt of it, the way his standing leg was, taking the full force of it.

“He has had one scan and has a second (scan) later in the week, just to assess the scan and find out exactly what the damage is.”