Newcastle will be boosted ahead of the 2011/12 season by the news that French international winger Hatem Ben Arfa has returned to full fitness.
The 24-year-old had a promising start to his career at St James’ Park, scoring the winner against Everton on his full debut, but broke his leg in a challenge with Manchester City’s Nigel de Jong back in October. The bulk of the player’s rehabilitation has occurred in Clairefontaine in his homeland, but the ex-Marseille midfielder has revealed he is fit and available for selection.
“It was a very serious injury, of course, and took a long time to recover from, but I’m 100% fit now,” he told the club’s official website.
“A lot of my recovery was done at Clairefontaine, the French football centre, where I was under the control of the doctor who did the operation back in October. I also came back to Newcastle for various updates with the club’s medical staff here, then back to Clairefontaine to continue the recovery, and I managed to get a couple of breaks in as well because you need that to keep the morale going.
“And now I’m no longer under the doctor, so all the hard work has paid off. It was a very, very difficult few months and I’m really happy that now it’s all over and I can get cracking. I’m really eager to get back,” he continued.
The Tyneside club have had a busy summer in the transfer market thus far, and have signed two French players in the form of Yohan Cabaye and Sylvain Marveaux, which is great news for Ben Arfa.
“It’s good for my morale that we have signed such good players from France, players that I know and that I have played against. It’s going to be really good. I spoke to Sylvain Marveaux before he came here and it was a very good conversation. I told him it was the right place for Sylvain to come and I’m very glad he took my advice,” the Clamart born man concluded.
Newcastle open their 2011/12 Premier League campaign with a home game against Arsenal on August 13.