Newcastle star Hatem Ben Arfa could be back in the starting XI within two weeks after picking up a hamstring injury, during the 1-1 draw against Maritimo.

Ben-Arfa has been ruled out of the Southampton game, but could be back in time for Newcastle’s visit to Fulham on December 8th, or the final Europa League game against Bordeaux.

Alan Pardew told the Chronicle, “It’s not as bad as we feared, so I think a couple of weeks, but no more than that, hopefully.”

He continued to say that Papiss Cisse should be able to make Sunday’s trip to Southampton, but fellow striker Shola Ameobi is out after injuring his groin. The injury problems mean that controversial striker Nile Ranger will now be back in the squad.

“Let’s just say he’s knuckled down. 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.”

Pardew has selection problems, Fabricio Colccini is serving his final game of his three match suspension and fellow French midfielder Yohan Cabaye remains out until the new year.

 

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