Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has confirmed Hatem Ben Arfa is set to return from injury despite initially being ruled out for the season.
The France playmaker has been sidelined with a hamstring injury and the initial diagnosis suggested surgery was required to repair the damage.
That would have ended his campaign but following further consultation with specialists it appears the 26-year-old does not now need to go under the knife.
Speaking ahead of his side’s Europa League quarter-final second leg against Benfica on Thursday, Pardew confirmed the former Lyon man may feature.
Ben Arfa’s presence, even on the substitutes’ bench, would be a huge boost for the Magpies given they need to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg in Portugal last week.
“Hatem’s made an unbelievable recovery,” said the Toon boss “Hatem will be involved and he is somebody who can turn the game.
“I have an asset that has come back to me, maybe just in time.”
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