Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor is likely to miss the rest of the season with an Achilles injury that requires surgery, the Premier League club said on Sunday.
Taylor sustained the injury towards the end of Saturday's 3-0 defeat by Chelsea and his long-term absence will be a major blow to sixth-placed Newcastle, who have been among the best defensive sides this season with him ever-present.
"After medical assessment he will be having surgery tomorrow [Monday] and it is likely he will be out for the rest of the season," Newcastle said on their website.
Newcastle have 26 points from 14 matches and are level on points with fifth-placed Arsenal. Manchester City lead the table on 38, five points ahead of second-placed champions Manchester United.