HATEM Ben Arfa’s one of a kind at Newcastle United – and Alan Pardew can’t wait to have him back.
But Pardew has insisted he won’t take any risks with the forward.
Ben Arfa is pencilled in to make his comeback from injury in Tuesday night’s Carling Cup tie away to Nottingham Forest.
The 24-year-old – who missed the bulk of last season after suffering a horrific double leg break – hurt his ankle in a friendly against Sporting Kansas City in July.
Thankfully, the France international only suffered ligament damage at Livestrong Sporting Park.
And Ben Arfa – who Pardew admits has had his mental strength tested by the setback – is close to a return.
“Hatem’s had to be very strong, especially after this injury,” Pardew said.
“He was looking good in pre-season, and it was a blow to him. He’s actually recovered quicker than we thought.”
SEE Saturday’s Mail for more Newcastle news