And Ben Arfa is now desperate to help fire Toon to derby glory - and repay the Geordie fans for sticking by him this year.
He said: "It has been a difficult period. It has taken quite a while to get back to full fitness, but that is normal.
"I am completely over all of this now.
"I am 100 per cent OK and looking forward to playing in the rest of the season. Hopefully, I can have a good game and make the fans really happy.
"The supporters have stuck with me through some difficult times, and it would be nice to repay them.
"Sunday is a very good opportunity for me to do that."