There are other worries as well for Alan Pardew, who says:
"Matthew Etherington and Nigel Reo-Coker are both doubtful and Teddy won't make this game - and that might be the case for the weekend as well which is a bit of a blow.
"Malky is definitely out - he has damaged another part of his calf after coming back for a couple of games and doing very well."
With Anton Ferdinand looking to come back into contention, Alan feels the game will suit his style.
"Anton, who performed well at QPR, will come straight back in and he has the attributes for this type of game because he is quick and there is not so much fed into your box in terms of aerial duels," explains Alan.
"We need to be sharp and lively round the box and hopefully that is a strength of Anton's - so I am not too concerned about that one.
"He is an U21 international now and he is desperate to play in this team; Calum has come in and done well and we have brought Malky in too, not to mention the fact that Tomas has done well at centre half.
"So there is good competition in an area where we have been not so strong in terms of numbers of that quality ever since I have been here."