Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has confirmed plans of Hatem Ben Arfa seeing action against Sunderland.

The Frenchman has had two aborted comebacks, and at one stage Newcastle feared he would need to have ­surgery on his damaged ­hamstring.

But Pardew is cautiously optimistic that Ben Arfa's problems are now behind him and he is closing in on a return.

Pardew said: "He still has scar tissue in the hamstring but showing no ill-effects from it.

"He thinks he is now 100 per cent fit and we are treating him as that.

"He has a week's work ahead of him and there could be a cameo against Sunderland."