Hatem Ben Arfa

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Hatem Ben Arfa will miss Sunday's trip to Southampton in the Premier League with a hamstring injury, manager Alan Pardew has confirmed.

The French international hobbled off shortly before half-time on Thursday night as Newcastle recorded a 1-1 Europa League draw with Maritimo.

Having been one of their brightest sparks this term, the loss of Ben Arfa is a big blow to United's impact in the final third of the pitch.

But while he is ruled out of a trip to the South Coast this weekend, Pardew is confident that the playmaker will not sidelined long-term.

"It's a hamstring problem, so it will definitely keep him out on Sunday, and probably next week. I don't know from then on," explained the boss.

"I don't think it's a tear, according to the doctor, so it's not a long injury, but it will certainly keep him out for the immediate future."

Already missing the likes of Shola Ameobi (groin), Yohan Cabaye (groin), Ryan Taylor (knee), Dan Gosling (ankle) and Haris Vuckic (knee), the Magpies' injury woes increased when Papiss Cisse also hobbled off early in the second half.

Pardew is expecting to have the Senegalese front man available at Southampton, however, to give his striking options a boost.

"He got a kick on the thigh and he was starting to limp with it because it tightened up over half-time, so unfortunately I had to take him off when I didn't really want to. With no striker on the bench, it was proving problematic," said Pardew. 

"Shola looks doubtful for the next couple of weeks but Papiss, I think, has got a good chance for Sunday. Hopefully we have done enough tonight to protect him."