Newcastle United interim manager Joe Kinnear has revealed that Australian International striker Mark Viduka could face up to another six months on the sidelines at St James’ Park.
33-year-old Viduka is in the second year of a two-year deal with the Magpies after joining from Premier League rivals Middlesbrough in 2007, but has yet to feature for the North East club this season due to an achilles problem, with reports suggesting the former Leeds United forward has suffered a setback and will require an operation.
This has been confirmed by Kinnear, who has revealed that the Australian is in his homeland for a second opinion, with the worst-case scenario meaning the player will need surgery and be out for six months.
“Mark Viduka's had one scan on his injury, but he wanted a second opinion, and so to did our medical people. That's why he has gone back to Australia,” said Kinnear.
“However, we know there's a chance that Viduka may need surgery, and if this turns out to be the case then we'll be without his services for a minimum of six months, and this isn't good news.
“We'll know more when Viduka comes back in about six days, and in the meantime all we can do is wait and hope."
Kinnear is already unable to call on Nigerian Obafemi Martins, who has a knee injury, but has said that the striker is on course to return for the Magpies next month.
Kinnear added: “He had good contacts in his days with Inter Milan and he's been to Italy for a scan on his knee injury, but his situation hasn't really changed and the initial six-week forecast of how long he'll be out looks about right.”