Reports in L’equipe today suggest that Hatem Ben Arfa will miss the start of the new season thanks to the injury sustained in the pre-season match against Kansas City last week.
The French publication claims that Hatem will be out for around six weeks after tweaking ligaments in his ankle, although it does appear that the hidden good news in all of this is that his previous injury has come through what is a big test unscathed which will surely help ease any concerns about a further injury to Ben Arfa’s leg.
As yet there is nothing official on the club website, but that’s two reports (one from his agent and one from L’equipe) claiming that six weeks is set to be the timeframe for recovery which will effectively rule Ben Arfa out until the start of September. I’ve now got six weeks in my head so anything less will be a bonus.
It’s a concern to be honest. I mean if you stop looking at the now and try to see the bigger picture a bit, just how often is it going to happen? These are injuries caused by challenges as a result of Ben Arfa being too quick, or too good, for the opposition. Is it not about time that flair players got a bit of protection? How many more times are we going to lose him to a knock?
Injuries are part and parcel of the game but perhaps we notice it more with Ben Arfa because of how exciting we know he can be? He showed us in pre-season that some of the magic is still there so to be deprived of it a bit longer is frustrating to say the least, although on the other hand you could argue that he’s been injured so much (through no fault of his own I’ll add) that we hardly know what we are missing.
If true it’s another blow to what has been thus far a horrible few months. First we had the Barton contract wrangle, then the sale of Kevin Nolan, then an awful lot of unrest caused by an unhealthy obsession with £35 million, then injuries to players out in the States, then the Enrique outburst. You get my point.
I guess the only way we’ll find out is if the club give us something official although I’ll not hold my breath on that one and expect Alan Pardew to be tasked with filtering the news through the press via a sequence of coded messages that will probably create more questions.
It feels like I’ve said this a lot now but, get well soon Benny!