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Martins setback for Magpies
29 Oct 2006 - 15:30:12
Newcastle United will travel to their UEFA Cup clash at Palermo on Thursday without £10million striker Obafemi Martins.
The Nigerian was substituted at half-time of last week's Carling Cup victory against Portsmouth after complaining of a tight hamstring and sat out Saturday's frustrating goalless draw against Charlton Athletic.
Magpies boss Glenn Roeder is short of strike options, with Michael Owen and Kieron Dyer definitely ruled out and Shola Ameobi and Antoine Sibierski carrying injuries, but will not risk Martins in Sicily.
"Oba has a tight hamstring. If he continued to play for the next two weeks it would have the potential to turn into a hamstring tear," Roeder told the club's official website.
"Players with the speed he has often pick up hamstring strains. We need to protect him for the next couple of weeks.
"We don't think he will be out any longer than two weeks but unfortunately two weeks with our fixture list now means four games. We are playing every three or four days from now to January 1.
"The squad is certainly being tested to its limits. I don't like the description 'bare bones', but we are short of numbers.
"But there will be no moaning from me. I will just say what I always say - that it's an opportunity for others to stake a claim for a place in the team."
Winger Damien Duff and on-loan Manchester United youngster Giuseppe Rossi started up front against Charlton, but the Italy Under-21 international will not be able to face Palermo because of the terms of his loan deal.