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Toon star on comeback trail after horrific injury

Newcastle United winger Hatem Ben Arfa will be playing again by March, according to the surgeon who operated on the player.

The Frenchman, who joined Newcastle on a permanent basis from Marseille in January, broke his leg in two places following a hefty challenge by Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong.

Ben Arfa has not featured for the Magpies since then, but surgeon Eric Rolland believes the 23-year-old will recover in time to play again this season.

"He had to undergo a second surgical procedure in November," Rolland told L'Equipe.

"There was a problem that could have become infected and stopped the bones from setting.

"We had to sort it out as an emergency. He is out of danger, though, and it won't delay his return to competition.

"People from Newcastle have been told about this. They were in contact with us at the time and are still in contact now.

"If each step is followed properly, the player should be able to resume playing early in March."

Ben Arfa'a agent, Michel Ouazine, has echoed the thoughts of Rolland, also telling L’Equipe: "The hope is that Hatem will be back on the training pitch in March.

"The second surgery was needed. Now it is just a matter of time.

"There is no rush for him to comeback. Hatem is prepared to be patient and do things in the right way."
 
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