Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has confirmed that Fabricio Coloccini is to sit out Sunday's Wear-Tyne derby with Sunderland.
The Argentine centre-half continues to nurse a groin complaint and will not be rushed back into first-team duty at the Stadium of Light.
The continued absence of his skipper will, however, hand Pardew something of a defensive dilemma.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa was returned to the Magpies' starting XI against Liverpool on Saturday, but picked up a red card and a subsequent one-match ban.
Steven Taylor should be ready to come back in to cover that loss, after shaking off a knock of his own, but Pardew concedes that Coloccini will be a big miss in a crucial contest.
He said in the Evening Chronicle: "Colo definitely won't be available for Sunderland.
"We think Steven's going to be okay. He was touch and go to train last week but we just held him back.
"Losing Colo is like Liverpool losing (Steven) Gerrard. It's a huge blow for us. We all know that."
With Coloccini missing, Pardew is likely to pass the captain's armband to Cheick Tiote once again - with the Ivorian having been preferred to Yohan Cabaye against Liverpool.
On that decision, Pardew added: "Cheick Tiote, by far, was our best player in my opinion. He was brilliant. I was really pleased for him. We need him at that level.
"If we hadn't had the incident at the start of the season (when Cabaye pushed for a move elsewhere), he would have been captain.
"I told him he wasn't captain. Was he upset? No. He accepted it and played great. I'm pleased for him."