Ben Arfa ruled out for season

Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa has been ruled out for the rest of the season as he requires surgery on a hamstring problem.

Last Updated: 15/03/13 at 16:28 Post Comment

The Frenchman returned to action in the first leg of United's Europa League last-16 tie with Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala after 12 weeks out.

But Ben Arfa lasted only 64 minutes of that game and missed the second leg clash at St James' Park on Thursday night, where Newcastle progressed to face Benfica in the quarter-finals after a last-gasp Papiss Cisse goal gave them a 1-0 win over Anzhi.

Ben Arfa is not expected back until pre-season training for the 2013/14 campaign, with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew confirming he will not be rushed back sooner, even if they qualify for the Europa League final.

"It's a shame for Hatem because we went down this process of not operating on it, and I think now that's an option that we might need to take," said Pardew.

"But we can't now put him at risk. Even if it was to get to a Europa League final, I don't think that's going to be the case.

"We need to look to next year for him and just go forward together knowing we haven't got him on board."

Pardew admitted they miss the quality he offers but insists they have a strong enough squad to cope without him.

"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," added Pardew.

"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."

You can only watch the best Premier League coverage here on Sky Sports. Watch Wigan Athletic v Newcastle United exclusively live on Sky Sports 1HD, 3D and Sky Go from 3.30pm on Sunday 17th March. Click here for more details

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

riting a minute by minute account on Berbatov would be like chronicling the days of the guy punished for sloth in the movie Se7en. Day 4 - lay in bed, did nothing - 15th minute, stood there did nothing .

lustral
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

W

hen players in their 30s leave Real Madrid, it's usually to Bolton Wanderers. I miss those days.

sailingmagpie
Top Ten CL Players Whetting Our Appetite

W

ow Pete, you would make an excellent stalker!

fouloleron
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

Footer 365

Champions League review: Big wins for Roma and Porto, Barca edge to victory

Roma and Porto earned big wins in the Champions League, while Barcelona opened their campaign with a narrow victory.

Chelsea: Jose Mourinho reveals fitness worry over Diego Costa

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says Diego Costa is not yet ready to start more than one match in a week.

Champions League: Jose Mourinho rues missed chances in Schalke draw

Jose Mourinho bemoaned Chelsea's failure to kill off Schalke with a second goal before Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's equaliser.

Mail Box

I've Given It Some Thought: He's Got To Go

There is some more considered reaction to Arsenal and Liverpool's results, plus a big get well soon message for Jonas Gutierrez. And an apology to Merse...

B**locks To That, I'm Going To Sit In The Shed

Arsenal supporters given their understandable reaction to the debacle in Dortmund, whilst Liverpool fans weren't too impressed either. Still, at least they won...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property