Ben Arfa could play again before the end of the season, and if that turns out to be the case, it could be a huge boost for Newcastle in our fight to stay in the Premier League this season.
Ben Arfa – last in action against Anzhi in Moscow
The French International has returned from France where he was rehabilitating and getting ready for an operation on his troublesome hamstring injury, but the injury seems to have improved since he last played against Anzhi in Moscow in early March, and he is now expected to play before the end of the season.
When that will be is a good question, but Newcastle still have seven games left in the season, and a second European tie against Benfica on Thursday night.
Alan Pardew said last month that he thought an operation was necessary on the Frenchman the week after he had played in Moscow, but he then backtracked on that a week later.
The good news is that the French winger is training again, and he trained yesterday, but when he can play again is still an open question – but maybe next Thursday or in the local derby against Sunderland next Sunday?
The Europa League has cost Newcastle dearly this season in terms of injuries, and Hatem was injured in the home tie against Maritimo in November in the Group stages, and he has really never been right since.
He returned in the game against Fulham on December 10th, and scored a great goal, but we lost that game 2-1 and play Fulham again this afternoon, and we must win the game if we are to get away from the relegation zone.
The Frenchman had a bad reaction after the Fulham game and didn’t play again until the game in Moscow against Anzhi on March 7th, and again he had a bad reaction after that game.
We hope he can come back this season – and the sooner the better as far as we are concerned.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org