Newcastle defender Steven Taylor has lost his race to be fit for Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby with Sunderland at St James' Park.
The former England Under-21 international has been working his way back to full fitness following the shoulder injury he sustained in pre-season and had set his sights on a place on the bench this weekend.
Taylor has not featured in a league clash since January's Championship draw with West Brom with his current problem coming on the back of last term's serious knee injury.
And manager Chris Hughton admitted that the centre-back will not be involved against their bitter rivals, while veteran Sol Campbell is also struggling for fitness.
Hughton told The Chronicle: "Steven Taylor is training hard but will miss Sunday. He definitely won't be involved against Sunderland.
"Sol is touch and go for the weekend but is close. We'll have to wait and see."
With Taylor out and Campbell doubtful, Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini can expect to feature at the heart of the Magpies' defence, while Andy Carroll will lead the line up front.
The striker came off the bench in the Carling Cup defeat to Arsenal and Hughton confirmed that the powerful forward and all of his players are eager to tackle the Black Cats this weekend.
He said: "Andy looked very bright, he was very mobile and he looked a very good player against top class opposition. He's ready for the derby.
"One thing I can guarantee is the XI that start will all be ready for the derby for sure."