Newcastle duo return to lessen injury crisis

Newcastle United could welcome back two first-team names to their starting line-up soon, as both Hatem Ben Arfa and Jose Enrique get closer to full fitness.

Ben Arfa is set to return from his broken leg in the match against Liverpool in May, whilst Enrique has been missing with a hamstring injury, and should play this weekend against Aston Villa.

These are two pieces of good news on the injury front, however there are also a number of notable absentees, including Leon Best, out for the season due to an ankle injury. Manager Alan Pardew gave an overview of the situation to the Shields Gazette:

“You lose Leon Best and you gain Hatem Ben Arfa – that’s basically where we are. I don’t think he’ll be involved for a while, and Liverpool will possibly be his first inclusion in my thinking.

“He’s eager to join in, but we’ve got to be a bit cautious with him. At some point, he’ll join in full training, and we’ll take it from there.

“I think we’ve got more than enough to see us through to the season finish. Shola (Ameobi) and Peter (Lovenkrands) have played brilliantly, both of them.

“Chiek Tiote will be back for Manchester United, but we’re a little short for Villa. Jose Enrique trained yesterday, and I don’t think he’ll be a problem for Villa.”

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