It seems that Hatem Ben Arfa’s hamstring injury has improved significantly in the last two weeks, as he has been rehabilitating in France, and the improvement is enough to have the Newcastle manager think he could even play again this season.
Ben Arfa in action against Anzhi in Moscow
It was exactly two weeks ago that Alan Pardew said that Ben Arfa would be out for the season, and would need surgery for the hamstring injury, that he initially picked up in November against Maritimo.
Ben Arfa then played twice for Newcastle after the injury, the first time was in early December when he played at Fulham and scored a fantastic goal, and then over three months later he played in Moscow in the first leg of the Anzhi tie – but he had a bad reaction to both games, which led Alan to say after the Anzhi game that he needed surgery.
At the time we wondered why he hadn’t had surgery back in December, and he could have been fit by mid-March.
And today Alan Pardew seems to be backtracking from his mid-March comments, and he had this to say to the Evening Chronicle.
“We’re getting more optimistic he could be involved again before the end of the season.”
So what happens if Ben Arfa comes back in say three weeks time and plays and then – for the third time – he has a negative reaction after the game.
It seems the medics are not quite sure about the extent of the Frenchman’s hamstring injury – he either needs an operation or he doesn’t – and we don’t want this problem lingering on over the summer.
If he needs an operation why not have it now – and he’ll be fully fit for pre-season.
What do you think?
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org