Christmas Tree 3360 Posted May 29, 2011 Share Posted May 29, 2011 WICKED whispers that Hatem Ben Arfa may never recover fully from his double leg break have been strenuously denied by Alan Pardew. Ben Arfa’s recovery has been a slow and tortuous one, mostly spent in France at the elite Clairefontaine centre for outstanding young footballers. He returned to Tyneside at the start of April amid talk of appearing before the end of the season, but it soon became clear that he was nowhere near the required rate to be pulling on a black-and-white shirt again. The shout that he would play before mid-May was always an optimistic one, but that hasn’t stopped some pretty rank rumours that the injury has taken its toll and he is not the player he once was. Through the Sunday Sun an angry Pardew blasted back: “I would dismiss that straight away. I don’t see any problem with him coming back just as good as he was. “You’re talking about a really bad break. And I think we were buoyed by his last visit because he was a lot, lot better within himself. “I think anyone who has suffered an injury like that, you’ve got to give him time, you’ve got to understand what is happening. “You don’t rush it and we won’t with Hatem (Ben Arfa).” Admitting that Ben Arfa has been “low” of late, Pardew said he had raised the possibility of a return for the last three games partly to pump up his spirits. He said: “I know we made noises that he might play in those last three games but realistically, I never gave him a chance. “I was trying to keep the boy’s head up to be honest. I don’t want him to see negative press so I said he might play in those three games. “But I thought I was doing the right thing for Hatem, so that he genuinely felt he had a chance because he was quite low about his training, his workrate and everything. “Once he knew he wasn’t going to make the games he probably accepted that and now he is aiming to be ready for July 4.” Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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