Newcastle winger Hatem Ben Arfa is unlikely to play again this season after suffering a setback in training.
Manager Alan Pardew had hoped to involve the 24-year-old France international in the final three games of the campaign, but has admitted that may not now be possible.
Pardew said: 'We think that's probably not going to happen now. He's had a little setback. That's what happens when you come back from that sort of injury, so I think that's unlikely.'
Ben Arfa was just four games into his Newcastle career when he suffered a double leg fracture in an X-rated challenge by Manchester City's Nigel de Jong during the 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Eastlands on October 3.
He was on loan at St James' Park from Marseille at the time and although he has not yet played under Pardew because of his injury, his move was made permanent in January.
Fans excited by his early displays, which included a match-winning performance at Everton, had hoped to see him again before the end of theseason, but may now have to wait until August.
The midfielder will be in good company, however, if he does miss the final three games of the campaign with defenders Mike Williamson and James Perch having also been ruled out.
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