Newcastle United’s Hatem Ben Arfa is ready to forgive Manchester City’s Nigel De Jong for the horror tackle that snapped the Frenchman’s leg.
Toon boss Alan Pardew has revealed the details behind the proposed reconciliation ahead of tomorrow’s meeting between the sides at the Etihad Stadium.
France international Ben Arfa has been sidelined for nearly a year due to the injury, and De Jong has sought out a face to face meeting to offer an apology.
Pardew said: “De Jong said, ‘I will come to the hotel or see you before the game’, but Hatem said, ‘No, I will see you after’.”
“That's right because we're going into battle and also after the game is probably a good time for things like shaking hands. Hopefully this will then come to rest.”
The Newcastle manager also assured Toon fans that the creative midfielder has made a mental, as well as a physical, recovery.
“I've had a little chat with Hatem and I thought it would be wise to just check that he's OK. He's trained very well and he assures me there will be absolutely no problem," he added.
“It was important because you can carry demons after an injury like that. He has assured me he has no problems going back there.
“I wasn't the manager at the time but I thought it was a bad tackle and unfortunately Hatem suffered a severe injury. More than a year down the line, and it has taken a long time, Hatem is getting back to his best, which is good news for us.
“He can handle it physically. When you train with Cheik Tiote you are going to get clattered now and again, so he has had a couple of Cheik tackles and seems to have come through them all right.
“We have had to let Hatem find his feet and that is only right. When you get long-term injuries that is the best way. He has not caused me a problem, he has been very understanding. I do not know how long that will continue but so far he has been.”
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