Taylor and Cabaye close to comebacks – but Ben Arfa’s Newcastle return put back

KEY MAN ... Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye.
KEY MAN ... Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye.

YOHAN Cabaye and Steven Taylor could be back for Newcastle United within a fortnight – but Hatem Ben Arfa’s not expected to return until next month.

Midfielder Cabaye and defender Taylor started light training this week, and Pardew hopes they will be available for the February 12 visit to Norwich City.

However, playmaker Ben Arfa (hamstring) isn’t expected to return for another month.

Cabaye had groin surgery last month, while Taylor has been sidelined with a hamstring problem.

Their absence have been keenly felt by Newcastle – who take on Everton at St James’s Park tomorrow night – and Pardew’s looking forward to having them available.

“I expect Yohan and Steven to be back for Norwich, but we’ll have to see,” Pardew told the Gazette.

“Hatem’s a little bit longer, I think. We think that could be the start of February.”

United are just three points above the Premier League’s relegation zone.

And Pardew has had to pick his players up from Saturday’s 7-3 defeat to Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger’s side weren’t in action on Boxing Day, when Newcastle took on Manchester United.

Pardew feels the defensive lapses which saw Arsenal score four unanswered goals were down, in part, to the exertions of the club’s 4-3 defeat at Old Trafford.

Defender Mike Williamson and midfielder Vurnon Anita will return from suspension and injury against Everton.

“I do feel, when I look at the stats from the Arsenal game, in the second half we were half what we were in terms of physicality and the amount of running we did,” added Pardew.

“The upside is (transfer) negotiations have gone well in the background.

“We’ve got Taylor and Cabaye running around cones, and Williamson’s available.

“Anita’s trained well. He might have been significant at Arsenal.

“That’s given us all a timely boost. We all know that Everton’s an important game.”