The Daily Mail says Ben Arfa has undergone a secret operation to save his career.
Paris St Germain club doctor Eric Rolland operated on the playmaker at the French capital's Pitie Salpetriere hospital in November - and Ben Arfa is now close to a return.
Newcastle have since paid Marseille £5m to sign Ben Arfa on a permanent deal until 2015 after an initial spell on loan.
"Ben Arfa's advisors called on me to do the surgery," Dr Rolland said. "He needed a second operation in mid November.
"He had a problem area which could have become infected, and prevented his broken bones from knitting together once more.
"It had to be sorted out urgently, and we thought it best to operate once more. Since then he has got away from the problem.
"The Clairefontaine rehab centre is monitoring him very closely, and all this will not delay him from returning to playing football.
"He got injured three and a half months ago, and his recovery is on schedule."
Ben Arfa's agent Michel Ouazine added: "The main thing is for Hatem to be back playing by March. He had an inflammation, and the second operation was justified.
"Hatem is philosophical, and not impatient. He must not rush back.
"He has taken things well, as there is nothing he can do about the situation."