Nicklas Bendtner: Arsenal striker confirms he is close to returning from his ankle injury

Danish striker had been initially thought to be sidelined for 'a month'

Nicklas Bendtner's ankle injury may not be as bad as first feared, with the striker posting a picture on Instagram containing the caption: "Ankle is getting there."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger initially confirmed that his target man would be out "for a month" after sustaining an ankle injury after scoring the vital opening goal in the Gunners' 2-0 win over Cardiff on New Year's Day, but it now seems the the Danie has shown greater healing powers than first thought.

Reports claim that the 25-year-old is now expected back for Arsenal's match against Fulham on 18 January, with Monday's fixture against Aston Villa coming too soon.

Bendtner's quick return would ease the striking injury crisis gripping the Emirates, with Theo Walcott out for the remainder of the season and Olivier Giroud appearing to be in serious need of a breather. It could also mean that Wenger will now not enter the market to sign another forward this month.

Nicklas Bendtner goes down holding his ankle after scoring and is consoled by Theo Walcott