Arsene Wenger has confirmed that injured striker Olivier Giroud will return to first-team training next week to give Arsenal a major boost in the Premier League title challenge.
Giroud has not played since the end of August after suffering a broken tibia in the 2-2 draw with Everton, but Wenger has already revealed that the Frenchman is well ahead of schedule having originally been ruled out until the end of the year.
Wenger is finalising his side’s preparations ahead of their trip to Wales to face Swansea on Sunday with the Gunners looking to record a third straight win in the Premier League after victories over Sunderland and Burnley.
Speaking on Friday morning, Wenger confirmed that Giroud is stepping up his rehabilitation as well as other positive injury news for the Gunners.
Arsenal's injury list
Arsenal's injury list
1/5 Mikel Arteta (midfield)
Like Diaby, the Spaniard is closing in on a return but the Swansea match will come to soon. The club captain last played in November.
2/5 Mathieu Debuchy (defender)
Returned in the FA Cup semi-final win over Reading but has since been ruled out with injury and Wenger confirmed he remains 'unavailable'.
3/5 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (midfield)
Suffered a hamstring injury against Manchester United in the FA Cup and hasn't played since as it has exacerbated a groin problem. Out at least until May and facing surgery in the summer.
4/5 Aaron Ramsey (midfield)
Aaron Ramsey caught a kick on his calf during the win over Hull and was later substituted. The Welshman was rated 50/50 for the Swansea match by Wenger, but it now appears that he is a major doubt for the clash at the Emirates.
5/5 Danny Welbeck (forward)
Danny Welbeck has not played since the goalless draw with Chelsea towards the end of April after suffering a knee injury. Wenger has confirmed that the injury is 'nothing major', and that he should return to full fitness before the end of the season.
“Giroud joins in training next week,” Wenger told arsenal.co.uk, with the international break set to give the Frenchman a chance of recovering in time for the clash with Manchester United on 22 November.
Wenger also confirmed that Jack Wilshere has recovered from the knee injury and virus that has kept him out of their last two matches, but confirmed they will be missing captain Mikel Arteta this weekend after he suffered a hamstring strain.
“Arteta will be out for Sunday,” Wenger added. “He has a mild hamstring strain and he will be out for a short period because it's a grade one. He should be back after the internationals.
“Jack is alright, he is back in the squad for Sunday.
“Laurent Koscielny has a little chance to be back after the international break.
“Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and Mesut Ozil are progressing very well, but of course they are not available before or straight after the international break.”Reuse content