The short answer is that he’ll miss miss five game at most although there is a slim chance that he could only miss four depending on what date Senegal want him to join up with their squad. Remember, Alan Pardew is hopeful that he can retain the 26-year-old until after the QPR game.
The hope appears to be diminishing however with the news that Senegal manager Amara Traore and his bosses have patched up their contract differences which had threatened the build up to the tournament and has led to friendlies against Sudan and Tunisia being cancelled although now there is fresh hope that the fixtures can be rekindled.
If time is an issue however, or if either Sudan or Tunisia have made alternative plans, the other option is allowing Demba Ba to remain with Newcastle until after the QPR game meaning that he will have been training and will be match fit for the start of the tournament on the 21st of January.
So after that, what will Demba miss? Well we’ll take a look at the worst case scenario, that being he gets called up for the 8th January and that Senegal reach the final which is due to be played in the 11th of February.
QPR (h) – 15-1-12
Fulham (a) – 21-1-12
Blackburn (a) – 1-2-12
Aston Villa (h) – 5-2-12
Tottenham (a) – 11-2-12
The Premier League will break for two weeks after the Tottenham game for an international break which means that our next game will be home against Wolves on the 25th February so Ba will have a couple of weeks to rest and recuperate, which he’ll need providing he reaches the final!
I don’t think it’s too bad to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll be a miss, a huge miss, and we still need a striker regardless, but as far as a run of games goes we could have been hit a lot worse with Tottenham being the only team that concerns me, although they’d concern me with or without Ba in the side in fairness.
Of course there is a very real possibility that he could return sooner. After all, I did use the worst case scenario. If Senegal get knocked out in the qualifying round we could see Ba back for Blackburn. However should Senegal (as expected) progress further than we’ll likely lose Ba for the Villa game as the Quarter Finals are due to be played on the 4th and 5th of February. From then on Senegal would have to make the final for Ba to miss the Tottenham game as both matches are scheduled to be played on the same date (11th).
Hopefully this clarifies things a little. It’s not ideal but it’s also not a surprise that Ba is going away with Senegal. We knew about it from the start and his form has made it so that he had no chance of being left out.
Now we just need to keep our fingers crossed on the injury front…