Newcastle United FC fear that their England midfield player Nicky Butt could face another prolonged absence after he suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury in training.
Butt has been missing for the past two months but he looked set to return to the Newcastle team for this weekend's Premiership match at Arsenal FC before the setback yesterday. The former Manchester United FC player will see a specialist early next week for a second opinion on the injury and may require surgery.
Butt, who turns 30 tomorrow, has not played since Newcastle's 4-0 win at FC Sochaux-Montbéliard in the UEFA Cup group stage on 25 November, and now looks likely to miss the meeting with Dutch side SC Heerenveen in the last 32 next month. Newcastle manager Graeme Souness said: "It's a massive blow to us and him and he is naturally very disappointed to have been hit with the same problem again just as he was on the verge of returning to the side."
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