Eduardo set to feature for Croatia

Eduardo does not want to think about the horror tackle that almost ended his career - and is purely focused on getting back on the field with Arsenal as soon as possible.

It is almost a year since the Croatian was left with a broken leg and dislocated ankle by Birmingham defender Martin Taylor.

Following a spell of rehabilitation back in his native Brazil, the former Dinamo Zagreb striker has already returned to action for the Gunners' reserve side ahead of schedule and is set to feature for Croatia in tonight's friendly against Romania.

Eduardo was named on the bench in the Barclays Premier League draw against Tottenham last Sunday, although he did not play.

The 25-year-old feels his return to action with the Arsenal first team is imminent, and prefers to focus on that rather than recall any painful memories of events at St Andrews.

"I don't even remember it - and I don't want to either. I have not seen any footage of the incident, and I don't want to," Eduardo told Arsenal TV Online.

"At this stage, for me I am focused on the future. The past is the past and I am looking ahead."

The Croatia international, though, bears no grudge against Taylor.

"He sent an e-mail to someone at the club wishing me well [ahead of my return for the reserves], and I am thankful for him doing that," Eduardo said.

Eduardo has been throwing himself into training sessions - and revealed there has been no suggestion of a 'soft touch' approach from his team-mates.

"No-one is really going in for hard challenges, but at the same time it is important they did not make it any easier for me and I think they achieved that," he said.

"They found a balance between not being too hard and also not being too soft on me.

"The more tackles I get, the less hesitant I feel, so in that way I am really feeling a lot better than before."

Arsenal do not play their next fixture until the visit of Cardiff to Emirates Stadium for an FA Cup fourth-round replay on Monday night.

While that match may just come too soon for Eduardo's long-awaited return, the striker is anxious to get back into the thick of the action.

"I am well and over the past two weeks I have worked very hard in training," he said.

"I have spoken to the manager and he says I need a few more games with the reserves, so there is still a little way to go.

"The game for Croatia will help me but I am doing all I can, training as much as possible.

"It is just a matter of getting games now, getting fit and getting back into the squad.

"I am very patient but sometimes I do wonder when the right time is going to come. However, that is only normal.

"I have got to get my focus right, getting onto the pitch again and helping the club, repaying the faith in the people who have had so much faith in me."

New signing Andrei Arshavin is ineligible for the cup tie, having only completed his protracted transfer from Zenit St Petersburg on deadline day.

Striker Emmanuel Adebayor - just crowned 2008 Africa Player of the Year - is likely to miss the next three weeks because of a hamstring problem.

Manager Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, is said to be considering a move for Ghana international Stephen Appiah, a free agent following his release from Fenerbahce and who had been training at Spurs.

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