Newcastle United knew that Steven Taylor's Achilles problem sustained during Newcastle's 3-0 home loss to Chelsea last weekend was unlikely to be good news, and now the worst case scenario has come to pass. A club spokesman has confirmed that the injury will require surgery and that the expected return date is not until next season:
After medical assessment, he will be having surgery on Monday. It is likely he will be out for the rest of the season.
This is devastating news for a team that's relied on Taylor's commanding partnership with Fabricio Coloccini during a fantastic start to the season, and with Coloccini also injured (fortunately it'll be for nowhere near as long as Taylor) there's a real threat that the good work done during the first three months will be for naught. Barring a miracle, you can write off Newcastle's chances of threatening the top four for good, and unless they spend a lot of money on a replacement for Taylor in the January window finishing in the Europa league slots looks far less likely than it did all of two days ago.