London - Newcastle United's problems worsened on Tuesday when defender Steven Taylor was ruled out for eight weeks and striker Papiss Cisse sidelined for the League Cup tie at home to second-tier Sheffield Wednesday.
"(Taylor) had a scan on his hamstring," manager Steve McClaren told a news conference. "He's had a small operation to repair the damage and unfortunately, it looks like he'll be out for a couple of months."
Cisse will miss Wednesday's third-round game with a back problem while fellow striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is still suspended.
Local rivals Sunderland are the only team below Newcastle in the Premier League, neither team having won any of their opening six games.
The pressure is building on former England manager McClaren, who joined in the close season, and things will get worse if they fail to beat Wednesday.
Supporters' website The Mag (www.themag.co.uk) said the news of Taylor's injury "once again shows the utter folly of Newcastle's failure to buy more than Chancel Mbemba to strengthen this area of the pitch".