Arsene Wenger feels the biggest test for Eduardo will be overcoming the "psychological hurdle" as he fights towards a first-team comeback after almost a year out with a broken leg. Eduardo featured for the reserves in Tuesday night's 2-0 win over Portsmouth, playing the opening 45 minutes at Underhill.
Although the Croatia striker, who felt a slight twinge in his hamstring after his run-out, has now targeted a return "in two weeks", the Gunners manager is more reluctant to put a specific time frame on the end to what has been a tough, but surprisingly swift, recovery process.
The 25-year-old spent part of his rehabilitation in his native Brazil following the tackle by Birmingham's Martin Taylor at St Andrew's in February.
Wenger believes the biggest test the gifted forward has faced yet will be throwing himself back into the thick of the action when he pulls on the No 9 shirt again. "For him to be back playing in the first team will not be a physical problem, it will be more a psychological hurdle to go back into the fight," Wenger said. "For a striker, the goal is about the fraction of a second he was ahead of the defender. Any reluctance to go into contact takes that away and then you do not score any more.
"That is where the question mark will be about Eduardo. He is very brave, but sometimes you cannot master those kind of reflexes. In training when he plays with us, everyone is very careful, because nobody wants to take responsibility of a bad tackle and he is injured. So it is better he goes into a game where people do not care about him and he discovers for himself he is strong enough to deal with it."
The Czech winger Tomas Rosicky is another long-term absentee and will be slowly eased back into training following surgery. Rosicky, with just 61 first-team appearances since joining from Borussia Dortmund in May 2006, has been out of action since January with a damaged hamstring and underwent surgery in Germany last month after his recovery was slower than expected. "We have to assess him to see how he has progressed and he should start training slowly again this week," Wenger added.