​Newcastle United were dealt a blow in their battle to avoid the drop into the Championship after news that striker Papiss Cisse will be out for two to three months.

The 30-year-old Senegal international has been sidelined since before Christmas with a groin injury, and while it was initially thought that the injury would not require surgery, it now does and Cisse will miss months of the campaign.

While the striker may not have been in the best of form for the Magpies this season, with just two goals in 13 appearances, it is one less striking option for manager Steve McClaren to call on in their quest for Premier League survival.

Speaking last week just before news of the severity of the injury became public, McClaren - as reported by the ​Shield Gazette - admitted he was baffled by the nature of Cisse's injury for something that seemed so basic.

Crystal Palace v Newcastle United - Premier League

"We've had second and third opinions," said McClaren. "They have said an operation is that length of time (two to three months), but you could try it and see how it goes. 

"If it goes, you'll have the operation. So he has stepped up, stepped up and stepped up.

"The injury is complicated. It has surprised me. Its a groin strain."

Newcastle United v Liverpool - Premier League

Cisse's injury now leaves Alexsander Mitrovic as his only fit out and out striker unless more reinforcements come in, however Ayoze Perez and Siem De Jong can also play up front if need be.

Newcastle were recently linked with moves for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette - who apparently turned down the chance to sign for the Magpies - and former Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner, who is now Wolsfburg.

McClaren's side are deep in a relegation dogfight at present, and despite investing heavily in the summer, find themselves 18th and in the Premier League relegation zone, though they are one point behind 17th placed Swansea City.