The England international has taken a kick on a ligament and will be assessed prior to Tuesday’s Champions League encounter with Barcelona.
New signing Wilfried Bony, the ??25million striker, could make his debut while midfielder Yaya Toure is also available after the African Nations Cup. Top scorer Sergio Aguero is fit after a slight back issue at Stoke last week.
Newcastle head for Manchester City with their defensive resources stretched to the limit by injury.
Left-back Paul Dummett (knee) is facing up to 12 weeks on the sidelines alongside long-term casualty Steven Taylor (Achilles), leaving head coach John Carver with just four fit senior defenders, Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini and Massadio Haidara.
Carver has problems in midfield too with Remy Cabella having damaged a knee in training to join Siem de Jong (collapsed lung) and Cheick Tiote (knee) in the treatment room, although the Frenchman’s injury is relatively minor.