Newcastle defender Danny Simpson will miss the start of the Premier League season as he continues to recover from a foot operation.
The right-back made 41 appearances for the Magpies last term after his move from Manchester United.
He played an important role in Newcastle's return to the top-flight after they took the Championship by storm following their relegation.
Manager Chris Hughton praised Simpson for playing through the pain barrier last season, but admits he will be out of action until the end of August.
He told the club's official website: "Danny had a minor operation at the end of the season and will miss the start of the season.
"We're hoping that he'll be fit by the end of August, but he'll probably miss the first three or four games.
"It was a foot problem that he had towards the end of last season that we knew would need surgery at the end of the campaign. The problem was just a bit more serious than we thought it was.
"Danny's a tough boy and in the last period of the season he was able to play with no pain, but we were aware it was going to take a minor operation at the end of the season.
"Somebody that didn't have the pain threshold of Danny would not have been able to play on.
"He's a tough lad, as I say, and he was able to continue to do a job for us."