Alan Pardew, Jan 20:

"It's an injury that unfortunately is not healing particularly well It's nothing new but it's a kicking muscle so you can't take a chance with that. We think it's going to be around two or three weeks from where he is now."

The Sun, Jan 24:

"Andy Carroll has been ruled out for up to two months with a torn thigh. It could see the hitman miss seven games for Newcastle and three England matches.

"News emerged as medical staff revealed the true extent of a thigh tear that has already KO'd him for two weeks. Carroll.... is now unlikely to return to first-team action until at least late March."

Newcastle United, Jan 24:

"There's no factual basis to the report. He will be out for two to three weeks as boss Alan Pardew said before the Spurs game."

Alan Pardew, Jan 26:

"We brought him to Portugal to start running and the disappointing news is that he hasn’t. His injury is in the muscle just above the thigh – an area that doesn’t get great circulation so doesn’t heal very quickly.

“We’re going to send him to someone who’s the world’s best thigh repair expert. This guy is in the arctic end of Sweden and he’ll be flying out on Friday and we’re hoping he’ll be able to turn him around quickly. But now I have to say that Fulham is definitely out and possibly even Arsenal. We can't rush him back.”



The French newspaper L'Equipe has reported that United midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa underwent a second operation around six weeks after the initial surgery to repair damage to his leg.

The story - which a number of UK tabloids have run - originally appeared as follows. The 'complication' mentioned is claimed to have been a shin problem.  

Hatem Ben Arfa should return to competition in March as planned. Despite a second operation in mid-November after a complication.  

Suffering a double fracture tibia and fibula of his left leg last October at Manchester City, Hatem Ben Arfa had surgery the next day in a hospital in Manchester. The team said Wednesday that the former Marseille underwent a second operation in mid-November at the Hospital de la Pitie-Salpetriere.

This new operation was decided after a complication, "a problem that could be infectious and to prevent the recovery" according to Dr. Eric Holland, a member of the surgery department of the facility and physician to PSG.

The player currently staying at the rehab center in Clairefontaine  where his recovery is monitored very closely. His second statement does not call into question the timetable for his return to competition, still scheduled for March, "if all stages take place normally."

Reassured about the health of its players, the management of Newcastle has decided to exercise the option to purchase (6 million euros) in the middle of the former OM few days ago, January 6th. Hatem Ben Arfa is now linked with the Magpies until 2015.

Ben Arfa was quoted by L'Equipe earlier in the week as having told the French FA website:

"On the advice of Dr. Eric Rolland, the doctor's PSG, who followed me during my injury, I came at Clairefontaine to get treated. Here, I enjoy excellent facilities and a competent medical staff. I have full confidence in him because I know for many years since I attended the center with various youth teams. With a six-hour program, I quickly saw the first results. It helps when one feels there is progress."



Having made the most fleeting of first team debuts for Newcastle against the mackems, midfielder Dan Gosling has suffered a further setback in his recovery from a long-term injury.

The former Everton player celebrates his 21st birthday when United go to Fulham next Wednesday, but he won't be in the squad.

Alan Pardew told the BBC that:

"It's such a shame because our medical team worked really hard with him. He had the operation at Everton, so they weren't party to what went on, and what they've inherited was what looked like a slight problem in that knee.

“Anyway, we've brought him back and in all this time there was a slight swelling that wouldn't go away. The surgeon suggested we carried on the treatment and now we think we need to perhaps have a look in this knee, that there might be something floating around, that there might be some cartilage that needs trimming.

“If you've got swelling, it's not right. Unfortunately for Dan, he's going to have to be patient, and we are too because we all got excited when we thought he was ready to come back. The case is that he's going to be missing for another three or four weeks.”