Hatem Ben Arfa blow for Newcastle United

INJURY WOE ... Newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa.
INJURY WOE ... Newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa.

HATEM Ben Arfa is out of Newcastle United’s Christmas and New Year fixtures in a fresh injury blow to the club.

The forward will be sidelined over the festive period along with Yohan Cabaye and Steven Taylor.

And his absence will be keenly felt by Newcastle, such has been his influence in a season where, so far, many of the club’s attacking players have lacked form.

Ben Arfa missed Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester City with a hamstring problem.

And the club’s medical staff, concerned at the potential for a tear and longer-term lay-off, are recommending three or four weeks rest before the forward can be considered for a return.

“He potentially could get a tear if we chance him,” Pardew told the Gazette.

“We think he’ll be three or four weeks to make sure he’s OK.”

Ben Arfa will miss Saturday’s home game against Queens Park Rangers, and the festive away games against Manchester United and Arsenal, as well as the FA Cup third-round tie at Brighton and Hove Albion early next month

The 25-year-old has been one of United’s most consistent attacking players this season.

Ben Arfa only returned from injury in last week’s 2-1 defeat to Fulham

The France international – who suffered the hamstring problem against Maritimo last month – scored a stunning goal at Craven Cottage.