Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa to miss rest of season

The 26-year-old France international returned from a 12-week lay-off against Anzhi Makhachkala in Moscow last week

Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa could miss the rest of the season as he faces up to the possibility of surgery on his hamstring.

The 26-year-old France international returned from a 12-week lay-off against Anzhi Makhachkala in Moscow last week, but has sat out the two games since and has now been told he may need an operation.

Manager Alan Pardew said: "Looking at him, I think he's going to need an operation on his hamstring, and it will probably leave him missing for the rest of the year, I think. We have had to absorb that in all the good news that we have had."

Ben Arfa tore his hamstring during a 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Fulham on December 10 and spent a frustrating three months on the sidelines.

He was thrown straight in at the deep end at the Luzhniki Stadium last Thursday night when he was asked to play as a lone striker, and he had a glorious second-half opportunity to snatch victory.

However, he was unable to take his place in the squad for Sunday's 2-1 win over Stoke, and was ruled out of last night's return against Anzhi, which saw the Magpies book their place in the quarter-finals, by Pardew on Wednesday.

Now it appears his season could be over, and a man who spent all but four games of his first campaign on Tyneside recovering from an horrific double leg fracture, may have to turn his attention to August.

Pardew said: "That's the priority for him now because he's been a huge miss for us.

"He gives us that X-factor. In a game like last night's where he could open the door for us, we haven't got that luxury.

"Unfortunately for Hatem, that's the news that he didn't want to hear. But as far as we are concerned, the team has responded well in his absence and hopefully, we do that until the end of the year."

Meanwhile, Pardew confirmed that the groin problem with which Yohan Cabaye limped off last night is not too serious, and he could yet be involved at Wigan on Sunday.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before