We had mentioned earlier this morning that Hatem Ben Arfa would be back training with the first team today, and the first photos of the French International are out, and it’s great to see this boy back in Toon.
Ben Arfa – joins in the training today
The French international forward has been sidelined for just over six months, with a double fracture of the left leg, and fans are hopping he has made a full and complete recovery.
But in the past Alan Pardew has been hesitant to use the player at all this season, until he proves he’s completely and 100% fit again, and that’s a good policy, because why risk him when he will also have the summer to recuperate, and Newcastle are hardly now in much relegation danger.
The Newcastle official site is reporting that Ben Arfa took part in a warm-up with the rest of the squad this morning, and then did a series of running and ball work away from the main group, but under the supervision of Newcastle’s watchful medical staff.
This is what Ben Arfa told the Newcastle site today:
“It is great to back in Newcastle and back with the lads.”
“I joined in with the warm-up this morning and managed to do a bit of light training on my own, and it was good to see the rest of the players after such a long time.”
“I will be continuing to follow my rehabilitation program now I am back in Newcastle, and would like to thank the fans for their support while I have been out injured.”
“It has been a difficult period without football, but I am pleased with how my recovery has gone and look forward to pulling on a black and white shirt again and getting back onto the St. James’ Park pitch.”
Ben Arfa showing he’s lost none of that terrific skill
We had mentioned last Friday that it would be good if Ben Arfa could report back after a win against Wolves, and Newcastle not only got the 3 points on Saturday, but came away from St. James’ Park with an emphatic 4-1 victory, and throughly deserved all 3 points.
The lads turned in a gutsy and skilled performance when the chips were down, with Joey Barton again leading the way, and Nolan, Ameobi, Lovenkrands and Gutierrez all scoring for the black and whites.
Ben Arfa had initial surgery on the injury in October in Manchester, but several weeks later developed an infection which required another operation to prevent the infection from spreading, which would not have only threatened his leg, but possibly his life as well, if truth be told.
Ben Arfa talked about this rather dire situation:
“I needed a second operation because I had an infection,” “It was a big infection which could have been very dangerous.”
“I was told that I could have had my leg cut off if they didn’t operate on me very quickly.”
That second operation took place in Paris in November, but was not revealed until January, and it must have been a huge scare to the 24 year-old at the time, because of course things become very serious once an infection is allowed to spread.
But other good news today is that Joey Barton is now keen to sign a new deal at Newcastle, after putting in another Man of the Match performance for the Magpies against Wolves, and things may be starting to look up at the Tyneside club.
With Ben Arfa back in Toon, maybe the sun is starting to shine again on the club Newcastle – we certainly hope so.
Comments very welcome.
PS – the sun was indeed shining in Newcastle today as witnessed in the above photos. 😀