Newcastle boss unfazed by star man’s injury problems
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has said that Hatem Ben Arfa’s persistent hamstring problems are not worrying him at this moment in time.
The Frenchman will be absent from tonight’s crucial UEFA Europa League Round of 16 2nd leg tie against cash-rich Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala, with staff unconvinced over his fitness.
Ben Arfa played the best part of an hour in last week’s 1st leg but has been ruled out of tonight’s 2nd leg, reigniting concerns over the player’s injury concerns.
However, Pardew told the Chronicle: “I don’t think it’s a worry.
“We have to err on caution here though. The boy is erring on the side of caution.
“If he’s doing that then we must too. We are not going to push him in any way.
“He makes a big impact and he can still do that this season.”
The Newcastle boss will await the verdict of a specialist before deciding on whether to include the 26-year-old in Newcastle’s trip to Wigan Athletic on Sunday afternoon.
He added: “I will know more at my next press conference.
“But we have some excellent players and can win tonight’s game without Hatem.
“We’re trying to finalise exactly his hamstring injury before we put him back into the fore again.
“He had a little setback, we’re getting a specialist to look at it today.
“He knows that this injury that he’s sustained is an injury that we have to be very, very careful of because more important to us is his welfare going forward so we’re not going to take any risks.
“He had a slight little strain in there and we’re just checking that strain is no more than that.
“I think that will be the diagnosis, there’s a chance he could be involved as early as Wigan.”
Ben Arfa arrived on Tyneside initially on loan back in 2010 from French side Marseille.
He only managed four appearances thanks to an unfortunate injury against Manchester City which ruled him out for the rest of the season.
However, Newcastle had seen enough of the player’s talents and decided to agree a permanent deal despite his injury and lack of playing time.