Bacary Sagna nearing return for Arsenal
Wednesday 10 October 2012
Bacary Sagna will not be rushed back into action for Arsenal, but is determined to return stronger from his long injury lay-off.
The France international suffered a fractured leg against Norwich in May, the second such injury in the space of a year and one which ruled him out of Euro 2012.
However, the 29-year-old right-back played in the under-21s against Reading earlier this week, as did England midfielder Jack Wilshere.
After coming through an hour, Sagna is ready to step-up his rehabilitation.
Sagna told Arsenal Player: "When you have such a big injury once, you take it, but twice is hard. In my mind I was a bit sad, but the next day I was ready for the challenge, which was to come back stronger and I am in a good way today.
"I spent some time in the rehab centre, then I came back and worked really hard with the fitness coach and the physios to be ready to play - and finally I have.
"I don't have any target - my only aim is to be ready and bring what I can to my team, to give 100%, like always."
Most of Arsene Wenger's first-team squad will be away on international duty this week, although defender Kieran Gibbs pulled out of the England squad after suffering a minor thigh problem in the win at West Ham.
Right-back Carl Jenkinson has proved an able deputy in Sagna's absence, so much so he was close to a call-up by England manager Roy Hodgson for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.
Sagna has been impressed by the rapid development of the 20-year-old, signed from Charlton in June 2011.
"He has been really good, and has learned a lot," Sagna said.
"He is a bit more confident with the ball, and is very solid as a defender.
"He brings a lot to the team, and I am very happy for him because he is a hard worker, a very good guy and is going to be one of the best."
Arsenal recovered from the disappointment of a home defeat by Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea to go into the international break on the back of a battling 3-1 win at West Ham which leaves them in touch with the chasing pack.
Sagna, who has yet to agree a contract extension, feels the Gunners can mount a sustained challenge.
He said: "We have been solid. I think we can win the league - we have to take it step by step, but we have the quality necessary to play until the end of the season and win."
Meanwhile, Arsenal today announced 17-year-old forward Chuba Akpom has signed professional terms.
England youth international Akpom scored in the under-21s win over Reading.
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