Newcastle defender Craig Moore has suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury.
Moore has been on the sidelines since the middle of November and Newcastle's resources have been stretched to the limit in his absence, but Glenn Roeder is unsure when he will be back in action.
And with Titus Bramble, Olivier Bernard, Celestine Babayaro and Stephen Carr also injured Roeder knows it will be some time before he gets a recognisable back four together again.
"To be perfectly honest I cannot put a comeback date on Moore, Bramble, Bernard or Carr," Roeder told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.
"Moore has broken down and this is probably due to all the previous hamstring injuries he has suffered in his career.
"Babayaro has had a scan on his hamstring injury and it revealed that there is a grade one tear which will keep him out for two or three weeks.
"Bramble is only back in very light training - and I mean very light - and we don't really know when he will be back. The same applies to Bernard, who is having an operation on his hip.
"And as far as Carr is concerned, he is keeping physically fit, but there is still bruising on his foot and he cannot strike a ball. His return is open-ended - it could be tomorrow or weeks."
Nolberto Solano could return to the side against Everton on Saturday but Roeder also has injury worries in other positions, with Damien Duff struggling to recover from knee surgery.
"Duff has done some extra work over Christmas after his knee operation and as a result his calf tightened up, and it seems that no matter what we do we cannot win," sighed Roeder.
Shay Given is hoping to be fit to play against Everton despite being substituted towards the end of the victory over Tottenham last Saturday, but Roeder is ready to rely on Pavel Srnicek again if he has to.
"Shay is hoping to be back against Everton and we have not discounted this, although perhaps he will have a better chance of making the Manchester United game (on Monday).
"But regardless of when Shay does come back, I have to say that we have complete confidence in Pavel Srnicek."
Scott Parker is one player to have returned from injury in recent weeks and he has helped Newcastle to find some form, but he wants his side to maintain their momentum over the New Year period.
"When you play in such a good league like the Premiership it always takes time to get to where you'd like to be after injury," he explained.
"I felt good out there in recent games, though. I feel strong - I am getting to where I want to be fitness wise.
"We have had a lot of injuries but it hasn't affected us on the field.
"I think that shows what we are capable of and what we can achieve if we stay ahead of the game."