Newcastle midfielder Ben Arfa ruled out until end of season

The France international made a comeback in the first leg of their Europa League tie with Anzhi Makhachkala, but a recurrence of his hamstring problem will require an operation
Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa has been ruled out until the end of the season with a hamstring injury.

The France international was out for 12 weeks before making a comeback against Anzhi Makhachkala in the first leg of the Magpies' Europa League tie, but aggravated the injury during the match.

16/1 Newcastle are 16/1 with Bet365 to win the Europa League this season
And Newcastle have announced the winger would be heading to a specialist, with tests revealing the 26-year-old will require surgery and could miss the rest of the current season.

"He needs an operation on his hamstring and he could miss the rest of the year," Alan Pardew told reporters.

"It is terrible news. Hatem gives us the x factor and will be a big miss."

However, Pardew did have better news regarding Yohan Cabaye, who he says has "half a chance" of playing against Wigan on Sunday afternoon.

Newcastle defeated Anzhi thanks to a 93rd-minute winner from Papiss Cisse, and have drawn Benfica in the quarter-finals of the Europa League - a tie Pardew is positive about winning.

"It's a great draw for us," the manager told the club's official website. "The Estadio da Luz is a great venue. I've been there and it's a fantastic stadium.

"Importantly, we are at home in the second leg and that will give us an advantage. I'm sure we will have a full house for that.

"After what the stadium was like last night [against Anzhi], I know it will be another brilliant atmosphere, and let's hope we can bring a result back from Benfica in the first leg."