Apr 14, 2013 at 12pm UK at ​St James' Park
NewcastleNewcastle United

Gouffran (23'), Demba Cisse (43'), Taylor (45')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Johnson (74'), Sessegnon (27'), Vaughan (82')
Rose (37'), Johnson (74')

Hatem Ben Arfa close to return

Hatem Ben Arfa
© PA Photos
Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew reveals that Hatem Ben Arfa is close to a first-team return.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has revealed that Hatem Ben Arfa has a small chance of playing against Sunderland this weekend.

The French international has been blighted by a series of hamstring problems, restricting the playmaker to just one appearance in 2013.

Pardew has revealed that Ben Arfa is working towards full fitness and could provide a "massive bonus" by making the squad for Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby if everything goes according to plan.

He told The Sun: "What has happened with Hatem is the scan has shown he has scar tissue still in the hamstring. He is showing no ill-effects from it.

"We have sent him to three experts, mainly a French expert, who have been looking after him. He thinks he is now 100% and we are now treating him as that. He is running and there could be a cameo as soon as Sunderland, he has a week's work.

"If he gets through that work, then he could be involved. It would be a massive bonus for us, but it is still too early to call."

The 26-year-old has made 15 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring three goals.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew before kick-off in the match against Manchester City on March 30, 2013
Read Next:
Pardew: 'We must bounce back'
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole