Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Newcastle wait for word on Ben Arfa

Hatem Ben Arfa

Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa's ankle injury is being assessed in Paris as the club awaits news of the extent of the damage.

The 24-year-old left the Magpies' United States training camp on Friday after being hurt in a rugged challenge by Sporting Kansas City's Roger Espinoza.

He has seen a specialist in Paris and he will continue to be assessed and undergo rehabilitation there.

The initial indications were that the injury was not too serious, and indeed, Ben Arfa is reported to have told fans in the team hotel that he would be out of action for around three weeks.

That would come as a blow to both the player and manager Alan Pardew, although both would simply be grateful it was not a lot worse after his miserable first year on Tyneside.

Ben Arfa was just four games into a season-long loan spell at St James' Park when he suffered a double fracture of his left leg in a tackle from Manchester City's Nigel de Jong.

That incident happened on October 3 and the France international was unable to play again, meaning he is yet to feature in a competitive game under Pardew, who replaced Chris Hughton in December.

His latest injury is on the same leg, but if his own belief proves correct, he could yet be available for the opening game of the new Barclays Premier League campaign against Arsenal.

That would be a boost for Pardew and the remainder of his squad as they prepare for their second tour match against Orlando City during the early hours of Sunday morning.