Newcastle return delights Ben Arfa

Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa has spoken of the trails of recovering from a broken leg, and is now looking forward to getting back to playing football for the Premier League club.

The Frenchman suffered a horrific leg break in a challenge with Manchester City’s Nigel De Jong last October, but made a return in the Carling Cup against Nottingham Forest in midweek.

After intense rehabilitation, the winger is now ready to return to the Tyneside club’s first team.

“My leg was shattered in two places. One bit pointing this way, the other pointing the wrong direction, but now it has finally healed, and it is straight again! It took a year, there were setbacks along the way but now it is right. It is a massive relief,” he told Mirror Football.

“It was 11 months. I was sad and a very frustrated at times but I had to keep calm. I wanted the whole process to hurry up. I wanted it to be ready immediately.

“I have not been depressed, but I have certainly been sad. It has been hard watching the team play and not being involved. It is difficult to come back from a big injury like the one I suffered, but now it is finished and I will put it behind me,” he admitted.

Ben Arfa is looking to use the injury as a reason to appreciate his career, and feels he is stronger because of it.

“So many things went through my mind. It was not just worrying about football. It was life in general. It is difficult to explain, but it has made me a bit more patient, I appreciate my career now.

“I think it can make me a stronger person, coming through that sort of trauma. My heart is stronger. I have to make sure that, in the long run, it becomes an experience that I learn from – a good experience, in a way. Now it is finished, though.

“I am very happy to be playing again. It has been a difficult year, a long, hard time for me physically and mentally. I am delighted now to have got back on the pitch,” he concluded.

Newcastle host Blackburn at St James’ Park on Saturday, with Ben Arfa likely to be used as a substitute.
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