Miles Starforth of The Shields-Gazette is reporting that Fabricio Coloccini has broken two bones in his back. The Newcastle captain had been left out of the team's trip to face Anzhi Makhachkala Thursday because of the injury, but today it was revealed that the ailment was worse than originally thought. Fabricio sustained the injury on February 24 against Southampton making an acrobatic (and some might say unnecessary) clearance at the touchline.
According to Alan Pardew, Coloccini is expected to be out for 3-7 weeks. The oddly specific timeframe suggests that the club and player have known about the seriousness of the injury for a week and were given a 4-8 week possible recovery period. Newcastle will play two league matches and two Europa League matches over the next 3 weeks, and if it takes him the full 7 weeks to return, he'll get back in time to play the last 4 matches of the season.
Since there is no non-surgical treatment available for Colo (again, according to Pardew), he has flown back to Argentina to be with his family for a week. Coloccini famously asked for a transfer to his native land this January for personal reasons having to do with his family.
The injury is, of course, a blow to a back line that has seen its two first choice center halves (Colo and Steven Taylor) play together in just 11 league matches this season. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has acquitted himself well so far, and now it appears that he'll have plenty of playing time to make himself attractive for other teams.