Mikel Arteta has spent large parts of the season sidelined with injury – the Spaniard struggling with an ongoing calf problem. He is back in full training however, and is hoping to be back before our trip to Old Trafford in May, according to Arsenal’s official website.
Our captain has been in and out of the side this season, with his injury preventing him from putting a run of games together.
He is hoping to play some part before the end of the season though, and insists that he is now just a week or two away from a return.
“I haven’t trained enough with the team yet to come back into the side,” Arteta said in his pre-match notes.
“We need to manage the workload on the ankle. I played for the under-21s against Stoke recently, and I’ve been feeling OK, but I’m not in a position yet where I can feel perfect and just go out there forgetting about my ankle.
“I need to train more with the team, get my confidence and build it up. My aim now is to train with the team for another week or two and then be able to say to the boss ‘OK, I’m ready now if you want to pick me.’
“It’s been a frustrating time for me, but I would love to be able to finish the season by lifting a trophy of course.”
Despite his imminent return to full fitness, the veteran midfielder is unlikely to slot straight back into the side. The emergence of Francis Coquelin has arguably put Arteta out of a job at Arsenal, and he is sure to be second choice at best.
Arteta’s current deal is set to expire this summer, although Sky Sports reported earlier this season that he had signed a 12 month extension. This has since been refuted by Arteta himself however, with the former Everton man claiming that he wants to wait until he is fully fit before putting pen to paper, as reported by Goal.
Our clash with Manchester United isn’t until May 17th, which gives him over two weeks to work on his fitness.