Injury Update

DESPITE hoping to return in time to face Wigan this weekend, defender Christian Dailly has sadly suffered a set-back in his bid to regain fitness, picking up a calf strain that forced him to withdraw from the Reserve team in midweek.

The Scottish international will now definitely miss the next two matches against Wigan and Burnley.

Having orginally undergone knee surgery in September, Christian's recovery was on track until a thigh strain in the New Year forced him back into the treatment room. The 31-year-old still fought his way back towards fitness and was desperately disappointed to see his recovery derailed yet again, as Alan Pardew explained.

"Christian has suffered a slight calf strain," he said. "It's not related to his previous injury, but nevertheless it's very disappointing because we expected Christian to be fit for these two games coming up.

"It's really disappointing for him and also the squad, because Christian is an important player for us and at this stage of the season it would have been great to have his experience to call on.

"I'm reluctant to say when he'll be back because Christian keeps getting these small set-backs. We'll just assess what damage has been done and then see how he responds to treatment.

"There's no one more contentious than Christian. He's a top professional and no one will work harder to get back to fitness than Christian. Hopefully, we can get him back as soon as possible and he can still have a part to play this season."

Also in the treatment room for this weekend Malky Mackay, Sergei Rebrov and Steve Lomas are all suffering with calf injuries, while Don Hutchison is out with a long term knee problem.

But Matty Etherington is back to full fitness after missing the Leicester City game with a jarred knee.