Fabricio Coloccini: Newcastle captain could be out until May

Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini could be out until May after he broke two bones in his back making an extravagant overhead clearance.

Coloccini, 31, landed awkwardly in the 4-2 defeat to Southampton last month.

Coloccini profile

  • Age: 31
  • Position: Centre-back
  • Current club: Newcastle Utd
  • Former clubs: Boca Juniors, AC Milan, San Lorenzo (loan), Alaves (loan), Atletico Madrid (loan), Villarreal (loan), Deportivo La Coruna
  • Newcastle appearances: 181
  • Argentina appearances: 36

The centre-back, who demanded to leave the club in January, has returned to his native Argentina for a week to work with his national side's medical team.

Manager Alan Pardew said: "There's no treatment he can have. It's going to be between three and seven weeks."

Coloccini joined Newcastle from Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna for £10.3m in 2008 and signed a new four-year contract with the club last year.

His appearances this season have been limited due to a hamstring injury picked up on international duty and a three-match suspension after being sent off against Liverpool.

He also asked to be sold for personal reasons in the winter transfer window, a request that was turned down.

Coloccini's place in the starting XI, beginning with Thursday's Europa League last-16 first leg match at Anzhi Makhachkala, is likely to be taken by January signing Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.