Newcastle's Mike Williamson to miss final three games
Newcastle defender Mike Williamson will miss the final three games of the Premier League season after breaking a bone in his forearm.
The 27-year-old suffered the injury in training on Thursday, and will undergo an operation that rules him out for the rest of the campaign.
"He's done it in the gym this morning, there's a slight weakness in that arm," boss Alan Pardew told BBC Newcastle.
"He'll be touch and go for the start of pre-season, so he's definitely out."
Newcastle finish the season with a home match against Birmingham, a trip to Chelsea and the visit of West Bromwich Albion.
Williamson has established himself as a regular fixture in the Magpies first team, making 32 appearances this term.
The Stoke-on-Trent born centre-back joined Newcastle from Portsmouth for £3m in January 2010, having failed to make an appearance at Fratton Park.
Meanwhile with James Perch also absent, Pardew could call upon former England Under-21 international Steven Taylor as a replacement.
Injury and the form of Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini at centre-back have limited the 25-year-old to just 11 appearances, the last of which came in last month's 1-0 away defeat by Aston Villa.
"He signed a new contract here, we've worked hard on his training programme and changed a couple of things which I think will help him.
"Now he's got an opportunity and needs to take it. He was unfortunate because he was playing well at centre-half, but when he came back after injury Williamson and Colo were our strongest area of the team.
"Steven had opportunities in different positions, at right-back for example, but now that he has an opportunity in his best position to show that he should be a starter for next year."