Newcastle’s Ben Arfa Doubtful For Pre-Season?

It wasn’t all that long ago that a serious double leg fracture ended a player’s career in football.

Hatem Ben Arfa – in training at Newcastle earlier this year

That’s what has happened to Newcastle’s Ben Arfa last season, and the club took a calculated gamble in January when they took up the option to buy him for around £5M from French club Marseilles, while he was still recovering from the serious injury he picked up at Manchester City last October.

And Ben Arfa was unable to return to the Newcatsle first team this season, despite some optimistic forecasts last January, and the 24 year old is now back again in Clairefontaine, just south of Paris, trying to get ready for Newcastle’s pre-season.

Alan Pardew talked about Ben Arfa today:

“He’s back at Clairefontaine, it looks like he’s got a busy summer ahead of him. We can only hope he’s going to come back the same player. It’s a tough injury he had, so we can only wait.”

There were even complications following the Frenchman’s initial surgery in October, and another operation was necessary last November.

Those complications would have prevented his shin bones from healing properly – and brought his career to a premature end but Paris St Germain club doctor Eric Rolland successfully operated on the play-maker at the French capital’s Pitie Salpetriere hospital in November.

Ben Arfa’s advisor, Simon Stainrod, has said he is getting close to playing again, and for the record it’s now around seven and a half months since he sustained the injury from a poor and rather reckless challenge from Dutchman Nigel De Jong.

De Jong seemed huffed when he was subsequently dropped from the next Netherlands senior squad, specifically because of that tackle, and he didn’t even receive a yellow card for it, from referee Martin Atkinson.

This is what Stainrod said today:

“To be honest a lot of that speculation in the first place was to keep his spirits up because of the nature of the injury,”

“But it serves no purpose now to start speculating on when he’s going to back. He has had a very serious injury and it is just a case of letting nature take its course.”

“He’s not a million miles away and he’s making great progress, but he will be back when he’s back.”

“It is maybe six weeks until pre-season and Hatem is kicking balls around already. He’s in good condition.”

Newcastle fans will be hooping he will be back in pre-season, and that he can make the American tour in July.

It’s a calculated risk that Newcastle took with Ben Arfa, but we think a worthwhile one, and certainly he seems to have received world class treatment in France.

We should know after a few games whether he’s still the same magical player he looked in his four appearances for Newcastle this season, when he scored that terrific match-winning goal at Everton.

We certainly hope so.

Comments welcome.

25 comments so far

  • alex84

    May 20, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #1

    i think there doing whats right, taking there time and rushing him back, like his agent said he is doing well. cant wait to get him back!

  • rahuliogeordio

    May 20, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #2

    What a misleading article title.

    We don’t need to risk him this season and let’s hope he can be part of a ‘new look’ newcastle when we splash out in the summer!

  • The Entertainers

    May 20, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #3

    Still this situation is starting to worry me’ slightly!
    He’s is gonna ‘be’ so important to us next season .

  • roshan MAGPIE

    May 20, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #4

    its a good time for him to heal since the seaSON IS OVER it wont effect him mentally and would help him to come back next season

  • GeordieRob

    May 20, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #5

    I think realistically, he’s going to take some time to get right.

    A great achievement would be to play 20-25 games next year. If we recruit well this summer, I’d wheel him out against all the bottom 5 teams to just to punch them up and get him some confidence in the leg. He’ll need rest and recovery time.

  • sweendog

    May 20, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #6

    no point scare mongering .. top player and based on his agent he’ll be back soon enough.. can’t wait to see him in the middle with Zog and Guti either side .. barton and Tiote behind in a 5 man midfield.. quality..

  • boom boom cheick cheick the room

    May 20, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #7

    cant wait till this little fella is up and runnin again hes majic if we can get nzogbia in put gutierez on the right cause he seems more right footed than left he always cuts onto his right then get a quality striker in with benny playin in behind him we are not a million miles away we just need to add a couple in the correct areas keeping the balance right and we will do well next season.


    May 20, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #8

    READ the statements form Pardew and Stainrod-at no point does it say he is struggling and will not be fit. A poor headline ED.

  • toonarmy1986

    May 20, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #9

    My major concern is his confidence and that is going to take longer to recover from than the physical injury so just hope he can be confident again.

  • toonfan09

    May 20, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #10

    it says the opposite says pre season is 6 weeks away and he is already kicking a ball

  • Mags

    May 20, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #11

    The headline is a bit sensationalist isn’t it Ed?

  • G

    May 20, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #12

    I just hope we don’t rush him back if he does need more time. I would like to think that when he does next kick a ball in anger, he is 100% fit to do so.

  • estechco

    May 20, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Comment #13

    Yes, poor headline Ed…

    “It is maybe six weeks until pre-season and Hatem is kicking balls around already. He’s in good condition.”

    This in fact says quite the opposite to your headline?

  • boom boom cheick cheick the room

    May 20, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #14

    how do i change the logo picture beside my name lads

  • Markaccus

    May 20, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Comment #15

    And the award for the worst and most misleading headline goes to…. :D. It all looks quite positive from where I’m sitting.

  • The Entertainers

    May 20, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #16

    But as all good headlines do, it caught our attention haha! Hats off Ed’ 🙂

  • jonnymcdonald

    May 20, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #17

    So Ben Arfa will not be at St.James on Sunday as he is in France! Bit disappointed!


    May 20, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #18

    Give him more 2months rest

  • Solaidback

    May 20, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #19

    I think Ed’s headline is more to draw fans into the subject than be spot on with the story, I mean if he put up a headline like ‘HBA now kicking balls’ or summit like than he may not get the response he wants, so a more dramatic headline as above will get fans reading his blog.. lol

    As for HBA, if he’s already kicking a ball around, then he’ll be in the USA for pre-season, as others have said, it’s more about his confidence than anything else, but no need to rush him, just let mother nature take her course..

    As for it being a risk by Ashley paying out £5m on a players who’s injury could end his career, I think they will be clauses in his contract to negate what may or may not happen don’t you think??


    May 20, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #20

    I don’t think he is gunna be as good as we all think next season as its still a new league for him hes had a horrific injury which could affect him mentally on the pitch for a while and he hasn’t kick a ball around tidy in about a year, but the season after I think he will become class.

    I just hope the fans don’t get on his back and start saying he’s crap, sell him and all that nonsense as I can imagine a lot of people on here doing.

  • Phil K

    May 20, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #21

    Dan Gosling tried to rush back, and his injury flared again because of. Ireland came in injured and STAYED injured (why persevere with him, by the way ?) so best Ben Arfa Daly takes his time.
    Personally, i’ll be surprised if he’s half the player he looked before the Dutch thug nailed him when he returns.
    Hope Gosling CAN return, as I believe he COULD be a top star IF he isn’t an injury liability.
    Ireland IS an injury liability.
    Also on the injuries, Leon Best broke through, will he be back to square one again, remember he got the same laughing mockery young Perch gets now.
    Why couldn’t it have been that idiot Ranger that got injured ?

  • morocco0015

    May 20, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Comment #22

    Ed does it again, misleading heading to draw comment.
    Cut the crap Ed.

  • moonraker

    May 20, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Comment #23

    Ed what was the point in that headline?

  • JP...from The Rock

    May 21, 2011 at 1:26 AM

    Comment #24

    This kid is a huge talent and he is very confident with himself and his skill. I have no doubt that he’ll come back as good as ever.

    Nice to hear a bit more from Benny, get well soon m8.

    Howay The Lads


    May 21, 2011 at 5:43 AM

    Comment #25

    I,me fearful that the Ben Arfa career could be over after so many progress reports of his possible return! Only for set-back after set-back, Is he going to be fit for the start for next season?

    Good will and prayers are,nt going to get him back on the pitch ! De Jong has an awful lot to answer for, after that challenge last October!

    I fear the worst!!


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