Newcastle boss Pardew reveals Ben Arfa injury 'not as bad as first feared'

The Magpies boss has indicated the winger might only miss two weeks with a hamstring problem, while young striker Nile Ranger has "knuckled down" at St James' Park
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has allayed fears over the fitness of winger Hatem Ben Arfa.

The 25-year-old was forced out of the 1-1 Europa League draw against Maritimo on Thursday at halftime with a hamstring problem.

Ben Arfa will miss the Premier League clash with Southampton at St Mary's Stadium on Sunday, but is expected to make a swift return, while injury doubts Papiss Cisse and James Perch are likely to be passed fit.

"It's not as bad as we feared, so I think a couple of weeks, but no more than that, hopefully," Pardew said at a press conference.

Pardew also suggested young striker Nile Ranger could be involved after an improvement in his attitude following a string of late appearances for training and disciplinary issues.

"Let's just say he's knuckled down," Pardew added. "I still think he owes us and I said that to him this morning, so I'm not saying anything that I haven't said to him personally.

"I think he owes us and now is the time to be humble, come in and play football and concentrate on football."

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