"Obafemi Martins has not played for Newcastle United since December 14, when he helped the Magpies record a 3-0 victory over Portsmouth. A lingering problem with a hernia has kept him out, and it now looks as though the injury may require surgery.
The situation has caused Martins' agent to issue a forceful reprimand to Newcastle's medical staff, who he feels are exacerbating not only his player's injury, but the whole ridiculous injury problem at the club.
Dapo Kujore, who represents Martins, feels that the club should have identified the problem and taken action much earlier so the player could be back in action now.
"The Newcastle medical staff are woeful," Kujore told KickOffNigeria.com. "Oba has been having this problem on and off and they failed to spot it. It was only when he went to Italy that the correct diagnosis was made. He will have the operation this week."
And Kujore thinks that the medical problems at the club extend far beyond the situation with his player, pointing out the Toon's history of serious injuries to key players.
"Look at the entire team. Viduka is injured, Alan Smith is injured, Nicky Butt is injured, and so many players. Even when Shearer was playing, how many times did he end up on the treatment table?" asked Kujore, rhetorically.
Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear could well do with Martins back fit and firing. The injury situation at St James' is terrible, and Kinnear is desperate for more options, especially up front.
The fact that Martins' agent has chosen to speak now, during the transfer window, may also cause Kinnear some concern. Agents tend to speak up when they're angling for something on behalf of their players: Kinnear will hope that this isn't the precursor to a transfer request."