International Toon Tracker: Cabaye Plays Through Injury

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle United tries to tackle Alan Hutton of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Newcastle United at Villa Park on September 17, 2011 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Let's not waste time burying the lede: Yohan Cabaye's injury is apparently not too serious, as he played 61 minutes for France against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday.  Cabaye injured his left ankle in France's win over Albania on Thursday, immediately raising alarms in Newcastle as ligament damage was feared, but he was able to play again, easing fears for the Toon Army.  Cabaye was lifted in the second half for rumored January target Marvin Martin, and reports indicate that his form was less than ideal.  It remains to be seen how he will be treated by the Newcastle medical staff going forward.

As far as other players go, Mehdi Abeid went to training camp with the Algeria U23 (Olympic) team, which is actually a pretty major development.  Like many notable players before him (Zinedine Zidane being the most famous example), Abeid had a choice to make between representing Algeria and France, and up until now, he has chosen France.  This move of course allows Abeid to play in the 2012 Olympics, but it does not affect his availability in January, as Algeria failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Speaking of the Africa Cup of Nations, the field was finalized last week, and Cheik Tiote (Côte d'Ivoire) and Demba Ba (Senegal) were confirmed as the only Newcastle players that will miss time.  That time will be significant, however.  The group stage will last from January 21 to February 1.  Newcastle will play Fulham and Blackburn Rovers away during that time.  Of course, the final isn't until February 12, so it's conceivable that both could miss other fixtures (Aston Villa home, Tottenham Hotspur away) if their teams advance.  The draw isn't until October 29, so we won't have a clearer picture until then.

Davide Santon captained two games for the Italy U21 team, a 7-2 win over Liechtenstein and a 2-0 victory over group leaders Turkey.  He was substituted after 74 minutes in the first game, but played the full 90 in the closer tie against Turkey.

Haris Vuckic came on in the second half for Slovenia's U21 team, a 1-1 draw with Sweden.  Apparently his broken hand is healed, and though it's doubtful that he challenges for a place in the Starting XI, he will probably be disappointed if he doesn't make the bench.

Jonas Gutierrez sat on the bench twice for the Argentina senior team, playing the last five minutes of their 4-1 victory over Chile on Friday.  He didn't feature in Tuesday's match.

International break: Over.  Time to focus on Spurs.

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