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Page last updated at 09:05 GMT, Saturday, 23 August 2008 10:05 UK

Barton sidelined until FA hearing

Joey Barton
Barton has proved a controversial figure on and off the pitch

Joey Barton is not expected to play for Newcastle ahead of a personal hearing after admitting a Football Association violent conduct charge.

The hearing will be on 5 September and relates to an incident against former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo.

Barton, 25, is battling to recover his fitness after spending 74 days in jail for a separate assault conviction.

And boss Kevin Keegan said: "It is highly unlikely Joey will be involved with us before (FA hearing)."

Newcastle face promoted Hull at St James' Park eight days after the hearing but Barton's chances of participating look slim amid speculation the FA's regulatory commission could hand him a lengthy ban.

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Keegan said: "What we have got to do with Joey is just try to assess where his fitness is.

"It is all right to come in and play a game, but how will he react after it?

"If he was fit enough and looked strong enough and put himself up for selection that way, I would play him before then.

"But at the moment, it is looking unlikely just because of the work he has missed."

Barton has not played for his club since the 2-0 home defeat by Chelsea on 5 May with the terms of his bail conditions preventing him from taking part in the final game of the season at Everton.

He tried to maintain fitness during his spell behind bars, but returned to Newcastle well short of what is required as he waited to discover if he would be given a second chance.

see also
Barton admits to violent conduct
13 Aug 08 |  Newcastle
Teenage victim sues Joey Barton
20 Aug 08 |  England
Barton faces action over assault
15 Aug 08 |  England
FA charges Barton over Dabo clash
31 Jul 08 |  Newcastle
Magpies hand Barton second chance
29 Jul 08 |  Newcastle
Joey Barton released from prison
28 Jul 08 |  Manchester
Keegan will support Barton - Lee
21 May 08 |  Newcastle
Barton back training at Newcastle
15 Jan 08 |  Newcastle

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