HATEM Ben Arfa is out of Newcastle’s tour of the United States.
And the club face an anxious wait to discover the extent of the winger’s ankle injury.
Ben Arfa, playing only his second game back after recovering from a horrific double leg break suffered last October, was caught by crude Roger Espinoza challenge in the first half of last night’s goalless draw against Sporting Kansas City.
The 24-year-old was stretchered off and taken to hospital for a “precautionary x-ray”.
A United statement read: “Hatem sustained an injury to his left ankle in a tackle during the game, and went to a local hospital for a precautionary x-ray.
“Consequently, he will be leaving the club’s tour, and the injury will be reassessed over the next 48 hours.”
Newcastle are hopeful Ben Arfa suffered nothing more than a twisted ankle, though they are taking no chances, and he was today flown back to England, while his team-mates travelled to Florida ahead of Saturday’s game against Orlando City.
Speaking immediately after the game, Pardew was hopeful the injury wasn’t serious.
He said: “There was shock at the time, and when you have gone through what he went through last year, that’s understandable.
“His demons will be there for a while. We think he’s fine.
“We sent him for a precautionary x-ray, but we think he’s OK.”
The loss of Ben Arfa was a blow to Newcastle, who had started brightly, and Pardew went on: “For us, losing Hatem was a bit of a blow – it disrupted us a bit.
“We had a disrupted pattern to our play, but overall as an exercise I was pleased with our sharpness and that we got a clean sheet.”
Midfielder Dan Gosling also suffered a headwound early in the game, but was able to return to the field after a small gash above his left eye was stitched.
On the game itself, Pardew reflected: “I thought Jeferson was a problem for us in the first half.
“He has got a real talent, and he probably was a catalyst for the good things they did.”