Effectively it is thumbs up for Steven Taylor and Yohan Cabaye but the opposite for Hatem Ben Arfa.
Alan Pardew speaking to The Journal;
“We hope to get Cabaye and Taylor back in mid-January. Cabaye is kicking balls around but isn’t training with us, Hatem (Ben Arfa) is a little bit further away”.
Yohan Cabaye is renowned as a dedicated, some would say obsessed, trainer and has his own personal trainer he works with on top of his usual Newcastle United training, so no surprise to see him ahead of schedule.
The same with Steven Taylor who showed great determination to battle back from injury last season…and the numerous others he’s had throughout his career.
As for Hatem Ben Arfa, it looks sadly as though we are paying the price for him coming back too early against Fulham. When he then missed the Manchester City match there was talk of a few weeks rest doing the trick but now it is looking like it could be nearer 6-8 weeks by Alan Pardew’s estimate.
As for which player(s) we need back the quickest, I think the answer is that we need as many of our first teamers back as soon as possible and all three definitely fall into that category.