Arsene Wenger has revealed that striker Danny Welbeck is ahead of schedule in his recovery from injury and is expected to be back in action in January.
The striker has been sidelined since injuring his knee against Manchester City back in May in a collision with Bacary Sagna and subsequently underwent surgery.
Welbeck was initially ruled out for nine months following his operation but Wenger says it is more likely to be January although he warned he will need time to find his best form after such a long lay-off.
“He could be back in January. After that let’s not forget he was already out for a year, so we might have to be patient. To get him back to a really competitive level… it will certainly take two months of competition to get back to his best,” he told the official Arsenal website.
Wenger also described at exactly which stage of recovery he is at: “No [he is not out running yet], he will be starting to run in two weeks.”
Arsenal’s injury problems are slowly clearing with Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey also close to returns and Wenger says the club’s injury record is much improved.
He added: “We’ve improved on muscular injuries tremendously over the last two or three years and hopefully we can continue that.”
Welbeck’s return will give the Gunners a huge boost particularly at particularly busy time of the season when squad rotation could come into play.
The former Manchester United man has suffered awful luck with injuries since joining the Gunners but has impressed when he has been fit and hopefully he can prove his quality once again and stay injury-free.