Obafemi Martins is in danger of being forced to sit out Newcastle's busy Christmas schedule.
The striker limped out of Sunday's 3-0 win at Portsmouth with a groin complaint, a problem which could sideline him for up to three weeks.
That would put the Nigerian out of action until the New Year, severely hampering the attacking options available to Joe Kinnear during a crucial stage of the season.
The Magpies' assistant boss Chris Hughton is hoping Martins' knock will not prove to be as serious as first feared, with the club having only recently overcome a crippling injury crisis.
"Oba felt his groin go after scoring on Sunday and he was in for treatment yesterday," he told the Evening Chronicle.
"All we can do is to assess the injury as the week goes on and we should know more in the next couple of days as to the extent of the problem.
"Obviously, with the holiday period coming up, we want all our players fit and on this score we are as healthy as we have been all season.
"Apart from Oba, we have no other short-term injuries, and this was seen by the strength of our bench at Portsmouth on Sunday.
"In fact, Shola Ameobi came off the bench to replace Oba and set up our third goal for Danny Guthrie and this is the sort of thing we want."