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Hatem Ben Arfa Will Not Play This Season Says Newcastle United Boss

St James’ Park playmaker unlikely to play again until next season after Eastlands injury.

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Newcastle United midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa will not play again this season according to manager Alan Pardew.

The 24-year-old joined the Magpies from Marseille, initially on-loan, but broke his leg in a challenge by Manchester City’s Nigel de Jong last October.

Ben Arfa, who has now signed a permanent deal, underwent surgery on his broken tibia and fibula after making only four appearances.

“He’s still some way off, the most important thing is Hatem is 100% when he plays,” Pardew told BBC Newcastle.

“I think that’s going to be late April, early May, if then.”

Pardew has other injury concerns ahead of the trip to Stoke City a week on Saturday, following the 2-1 defeat by Everton at the weekend.

“Stephen Ireland will definitely not figure in that game, we’ll have to wait and see on Joey Barton,” Pardew added.

“It’s not ideal, we already have a problem with Jonas [Gutierrez], who carried a knock during the Everton game, so we’ll have to wait on those.

“As a football manager it’s not ideal to lose a home game, and then have a run of injuries as well, so as I sit here it’s not the most comfortable of positions I’ve been in since I came here.

“But we still have enough senior players, and some good players to take to Stoke and get a result.”

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