The Ivory Coast international was injured during the Tyneside outfit's opening Premier League fixture against Tottenham and has not featured since.
However, the 26-year-old is expected to start against the Red Devils in midweek, something which Pardew believes will provide a boost to the Magpies' midfield.
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He told reporters: "We need to get him back in the team as quickly as we can, and I think he will feature on Wednesday.
"He gets a grip of a game and you can start to dominate with somebody like Cheikh. You have to have a platform to play.
"He puts other teams on the back foot in many ways. He's a fantastic player and one of our most important players.
"Drive, passion, a determination to win whatever he is doing, whether it's table-tennis or a game of football, and an ability that many players can't reach. He is a fantastic player."
The 51-year-old went on to admit that his team have not been at their free-flowing best recently, but expressed satisfaction that results have remained positive.
He added: "I am really pleased with the results, if not the excitement levels. Our fans want to get off their seats and so do I.
"Don't think we want to grind results out, we don't. We want to play well and win. We are not doing that at the moment but I am still pleased that we have got enough nous to get the points."