Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa’s comeback appears to be getting closer, with the midfielder now running 20 minute bursts at rehabilitation center Clairefontaine Academy.
The French international broke his leg after a harsh tackle from Manchester City defender Nigel De Jong in October last year. Chris Hughton, who was Newcastle United’s manager at the time, described the injury as ‘cruel and devastating’.
Initially no time frame could be put on when Ben Arfa would be back in action because of the extent of his injury. It was thought at best he would be out for at least 6 months.
The 23 year old has completed most of his rehabilitation in France, which has drawn criticism over whether he has properly adjusted to life in the Toon.
However, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew explained that Ben Arfa needed to recover where he felt most comfortable. “We’ve questioned whether to bring him back at times and have his treatment here and get him embedded into the city a little bit more, but I think the personal issue he had with what happened in Tunisia with his family and him, as a person, we just think it’s better that he stays there,” Pardew told reporters.
“You have to take on board that he’s a foreign player, newly arrived in the country and the injury happened so early for him, would you really want to be stuck here with a broken leg with people he doesn’t really know?
“He’s been brought up there, he knows the doctor and everything else.”
On the state of Ben Arfa’s injury, Pardew was positive. “He seems to be progressing well.
"He's on constant attention at Clairefontaine, he seems to be enjoying the treatment and everything else. Our doctor travels over and makes sure. The facilities there are absolutely brilliant."
Pardew is keeping mum on exactly when the star will make his comeback, but hopes it will be soon. "In my mind, as the manager of the club, I haven't got him penciled in for any game. If I get him back, it's a bonus for me.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle midfielder Kevin Nolan has told nufc.co.uk that the Toon are ready to bounce back after their surprise defeat to Everton at home.
"We've got a week off now where we haven't got a game, we can have a couple of days away from each other and then come back firing on all cylinders next week to prepare for Stoke and hopefully get the three points that are needed to get back to winning ways," he said.
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