Arsenal news: Hector Bellerin on course to return ahead of schedule following ankle injury setback

The Spaniard suffered ankle ligament damage during the north London derby earlier this month in which Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium

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Hector Bellerin has declared that he is on course to return to the pitch in less than four weeks and said that his recovery from injury is going ‘better than expected’.

The Spaniard suffered ankle ligament damage during the north London derby earlier this month in which Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium.

He has been sidelined since but is ready to return to running again at the Gunners' training camp in Hertfordshire.

Bellerin faces a race to recover for their trip to rivals Manchester City on December 18 but the 21-year-old is confident that he will at least be back in time for a demanding Christmas programme that features games against West Brom, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth all in the space of eight days.

"It's going really good. Better than I expected," Bellerin told the Daily Mirror

"It is a hard injury to recover from and a bit painful.

"But I am going to try to be running from this week and hopefully I'll be back on the pitch in less than four weeks."

The news will come as a relief for manager Arsene Wenger after Bellerin’s understudy, Mathieu Debuchy, was forced off with an injury after just 16 minutes during Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Bournemouth.

Bellerin also recently signed a new long-term contract at the Emirates, committing his future to the club for six-and-a-half-years.

"I’m really happy,” he added.

“It is what I really wanted to do all the way. It was just about setting a good contract that we were all happy with. I just can’t wait to get started now.”

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