Newcastle chief Glenn Roeder has revealed that keeper Steve Harper is likely to need surgery in the near future.
Harper was pressed into action in September when Magpies number one Shay Given suffered a perforated bowel against West Ham.
The keeper performed solidly in Given's stead, but he suffered a groin injury shortly after taking over the gloves and was forced to play through the pain barrier.
Given returned against Arsenal on Saturday and after the game Roeder confirmed Harper is likely to head under the surgeon's knife.
"Steve Harper was unfortunate not to play today," Roeder told Sky Sports News. "He has done really well for us.
"He has carried an injury for five or six weeks and unfortunately he will probably need some surgery soon."
With youngster Tim Krul in the treatment room with a knee injury, veteran Pavel Srnicek is likely to be asked to act as cover for Given.