Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder has admitted injured striker Michael Owen may not play at all this season.
Owen ruptured his anterior cruciate knee ligament in England’s 2-2 draw against Sweden at the World Cup finals.
“It’s a long term injury. I don’t know if he’ll play again this season,” Roeder told BBC Radio Newcastle.
“He’s getting the best possible treatment and will have the best surgeon in the world operating on him.
“Michael has an injury that will take a fair bit of time to repair. If we put a date on it and we say that he’ll be back by next March, and then he’s not fit, then it will cause more problems.”
Surgery had been delayed until September because Owen required an operation to repair cartilage damage on his injured knee in July.