Newcastle is unsure whether defender Kieran Trippier will return before the end of the season following foot surgery, says boss Eddie Howe.
The England international broke his foot in the 1-0 win against Aston Villa on Sunday, having scored the only goal.
Trippier, who joined from Atletico Madrid for £12m in the January transfer window, also scored a free-kick in the victory over Everton on 8 February.
Howe said Trippier’s operation on Thursday “went well”.
“That was good news, but I don’t know how long he’s going to be out,” he added.
“We hope to have him back before the end of the season, but it’s obviously a significant injury, which is a big blow to us because he was performing so well.
“We’re going to have to see how his early rehab goes.
READ ALSO: Newcastle dealt blow as Trippier suffers foot injury
Newcastle are four points clear of the relegation zone after three successive league wins and travel to West Ham on Saturday.
Howe said his side would miss Trippier’s experience during his injury absence.
“Sadly, we’re going to miss his leadership skills on the pitch and everything that he was delivering for us,” he said.
“He’s scored two goals in the last two games which have been defining moments for us, but we’re confident we have enough quality in the squad to cover.
Newcastle unsure whether Trippier will return this season