Ben Arfa to leave hospital

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Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa is to leave hospital on Thursday as he begins the process of recovering from his double leg fracture.

The 23-year-old underwent surgery at the Manchester Royal Infirmary on Monday, a day after a controversial challenge by Manchester City's Nigel de Jong broke both the tibia and fibula of his left leg.

He faces months on the sidelines but has been cheered by hundreds of messages of support from Magpies fans.

Ben Arfa told the club's official website, "I would like to thank all the Newcastle fans from the bottom of my heart for their fantastic messages of support and encouragement."

He added: "The club are sending lots of messages through to me. I'm told they are arriving in their hundreds, and that's really overwhelming.

"It's cheered me up no end and makes me feel really humble and honoured that the fans are showing such support for me.

"All I can say is a huge thank you to each and every one of them, and I will relish the day that I'm able to pull on a black and white shirt again."

Newcastle on Tuesday night called upon the Football Association to take action against De Jong, who had earlier been withdrawn from the Holland squad to face Moldova and Sweden in Euro 2012 qualifiers by national coach Bert van Marwijk as a direct result of his challenge on Ben Arfa.

FIFA rules mean the FA are unlikely to be able to punish the Dutchman over the incident, which was seen by match referee Martin Atkinson but did not even prompt the award of a free-kick.

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Hatem Ben Arfa
Premier League
Newcastle United

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