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Stoke 19:45 Newcastle

Ben Arfa return edging closer

Magpies winger making positive progress in rehabilitation

Last Updated: 02/09/11 4:48pm

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Ben Arfa: Will not be rushed back ahead of schedule

Ben Arfa: Will not be rushed back ahead of schedule

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Hatem Ben Arfa is making positive progress in his recovery from an ankle injury and is closing on a return to action, claims his advisor.

The Newcastle winger has been sidelined since picking up a knock in pre-season.

It has been a frustrating time for the Frenchman as he missed the majority of last season with a broken leg.

He is, however, running again and expects to be back in Alan Pardew's plans in the near future.

Ben Arfa will not be rushed back ahead of schedule, placing him at risk of suffering a relapse, but he is eager to start playing again as soon as possible.

"Hatem has always had the capacity to play sooner rather than later," his advisor Simon Stainrod told the Evening Chronicle.

Sensible

"He will be back as quick as the medical team around him deem sensible.

"I know he is optimistic about playing soon and is making good progress.

"He had the horrific experience of his broken leg last season but he is made of sterner stuff."

Stainrod added: "He is running again now and he will take it from there.

"The aftercare he has received from the specialists in Paris and the Newcastle United medical team has been different class."

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