Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey targeting a return for the North London derby against Tottenham on March 16

Ramsey has not played since the Boxing Day victory over West Ham after suffering a thigh injury but could return to hand Arsene Wenger a major boost in the run-in to the end of the season

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey is hopeful on a return to action in the North London derby against Tottenham on March 16 as he nears a comeback from the thigh injury that has kept him sidelined since Boxing Day.

Ramsey picked up the knock during the 3-1 victory over West Ham towards the end of 2013, and despite nearing a comeback in January, the Welshman suffered a setback that has seen him ruled out for over two months.

The 23-year-old, who actually celebrated his birthday on the same day as he picked up the injury, was a prominent figure in the Gunners’ rise to the top of the Premier League early on, and they have clearly lacked the intrusive runs into the opposition penalty area that Ramsey provides since his absence.

Having missed their first run of difficult fixtures through February, Arsene Wenger will be keen to have Ramsey back for their tricky March schedule. While the midfielder will miss the Champions League last-16 second leg match with Bayern Munich as well as the FA Cup sixth round tie against Everton, a return for the Spurs meeting would see him available for the ensuing matches against Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton again.

 

Ramsey has contributed 13 goals for the club this season, with his performances in the Champions League group stage – especially the away games in Marseille and Borussia Dortmund – helping the Gunners progress to the last-16.

The current Premier League title contenders will look to maintain their title charge this weekend when they travel to the Britannia Stadium to face Stoke, where Ramsey suffered a horrendous double-break in his leg back in February 2010 after colliding in a tackle with Ryan Shawcross.

Speaking ahead of the Stoke match at the Emirates last September in which he scored, Ramsey said: “It takes a long time to mentally overcome it [his injury]. It was from last Christmas, that’s when I was getting back to my best.

“That is when I felt ­confident, and when I was getting stuck in. To get over that kind of injury takes a year – probably a bit longer. You must keep believing and working hard, and it just feels, all of a sudden, that it clicks into that bubble and you are full of confidence.”

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