Under-fire Newcastle manager Graeme Souness has vowed to make the best of a bad situation after Scott Parker became the club's latest injury victim.
With Michael Owen already sidelined after a foot operation, midfielder Parker, 25, has now been ruled out for five weeks after having knee surgery.
Souness told the club's website: "It's another blow for the club. Scott has been our best player this season.
"But these are the cards we have been dealt, and we have to stick together."
Souness has seen his squad decimated by injury this season but has suffered two major blows with the loss of Owen and Parker, two of his most influential players.
England striker Owen, 26, broke a metatarsal in his right foot in the 2-0 defeat by Tottenham and could be out for up to 10 weeks after having surgery to insert a metal pin on Tuesday.
Now Parker has become a casualty after seeing a specialist in London.
"It was felt he may have a damaged cartilage so it was best to have the operation done sooner rather than later," said Souness.
The Magpies are also without Shola Ameobi, who faces a scan on a hip injury, as well as Emre (hamstring), Kieron Dyer (hamstring), Steven Taylor (shoulder), Stephen Carr (hernia) and Craig Moore (hamstring).
To add to Newcastle's troubles, midfielder Lee Bowyer is suspended for another two games.
Souness is trying to remain upbeat but admitted that the loss of Parker had only compounded his problems.
"When you look at the six or so players we've got injured, any team in the country would miss them," said the Scot.
"Take six of Manchester United's, Arsenal's, Liverpool's or Chelsea's best players away and see what type of team they could put out."