STEVE Harper says he'll have to find a new nickname for Shay Given following his latest injury setback.

Newcastle United's first-choice goalkeeper suffered a recurrence of a groin problem which has plagued him ever since he sustained a stomach injury at West Ham last September.

The latest setback caused Given to leave United's Premier League contest with Arsenal on Bank Holiday Monday before half-time.

Given had rarely missed a game for the Magpies prior to this term and it was his ability to bounce back from injury that has earned the Republic of Ireland international the 'Lazarus' nickname from his goalkeeping colleague. It has also restricted the Seaham born shot-stopper to just 48 appearances since Given arrived at the club nearly ten years ago - 21 of them have come this season.

"Lazarus doesn't seem to fit any more. I can think of a few more, but I probably shouldn't say them," quipped Harper.

"This year has obviously been very frustrating for him. What happened to him at West Ham was awful and whether what's happened since then has been linked to that, who knows, but there's probably a good chance.

"He probably just needs a good break now - maybe break is the wrong word, but certainly a good rest - and whether I play the last few games and he gets himself ready for the summer, who knows?

"It's important to get him back and as fit as possible for July when we start pre-season training, but knowing Shay, he'll be out for two or three weeks, which means ten days for him. He'll probably want to play at Portsmouth."

Harper will come face to face with one of the Premier League's most maligned goalkeepers in David James when he dons the gloves for the clash at Fratton Park today.

The former England goalkeeper, who is one clean sheet away from beating David Seaman's Premiership record of 141 shut-outs, is both loved and loathed in equal measures by the football fraternity, yet never by his fellow professionals.

"David James is a model professional," said 32-year-old Harpper.

"I think he showed great character when he was left out of the England squad and rather than retire, as people might have expected him to, he showed great determination to get back into the set-up.

"He's had an outstanding season.

"If people remember the odd mistake he has made it's only because they choose to. You don't keep 140 clean sheets in the Premier League without being a really good keeper. His record over the years shows it - he's played more games than most people."