Wenger plays down van Persie expectations

Arsene Wenger has warned not to expect "miracles" from Robin van Persie should the Arsenal forward return to action before the end of the season.

The Holland striker has been on the sidelines since suffering a serious ankle injury while away on international duty in November.

Van Persie, who had scored eight goals in 15 appearances before his setback, has made a good recovery, and has now returned to the Gunners' London Colney training complex to complete his rehabilitation.

Wenger remains cautiously optimistic the 26-year-old could yet play some part in the final few matches of the season, when Arsenal hope to still be chasing domestic and European honours.

However, the Gunners boss declared: "Do not expect miracles when a guy has been out for such a long time.

"We are, though, happy to have him back and he is physically, fitness-wise, in good shape.

"We have just to get him back to full team fitness - that will take two to three weeks maximum.

"After that you have to get a few games to get back to your best.

"It is very difficult to predict.

"Physically it looks all good, but after that when he plays in games you have to see how his ankle responds."

Van Persie even went to Serbia for radical treatment using massage with a horse placenta to try to help the healing process when he discovered the true extent of his injury.

Wenger reflected: "When you are hit by injury, the first three weeks are very difficult.

"I believe that is behind him now, once you start to practice again.

"The most important thing at that age is to be tired at night - when you can train, you can deal better with the frustration.

"When you lie at home at the start of your injury and cannot even do anything, it is very frustrating.

"I believe the hardest time is behind him."

Defender William Gallas, meanwhile, is another player who is on the recovery trail having missed the past seven matches because of a niggling calf problem.

"He is back today from his rehabilitation and will be back in full training over the next couple of days," said Wenger.

"But he is too short to be available for the weekend of course and certainly as well for Barcelona game on Wednesday.

"We have to assess him, it is too early to say [whether he is available for Wolves]."

Gallas, 32, has yet to agree a new deal with Arsenal, and can talk to other clubs as he is out of contract in the summer.

Wenger said: "In the next two or three weeks we will not deal with any contract because we have games every three days and we will focus on our targets.

"I feel we are winning the battle to keep him, but in this domain you have to be open and be ready for anything.

"He is in a position where he is free to sign for anybody he wants. Tomorrow somebody could come up and offer him a massive amount of money and I don't know if he will sign or not.

"William knows we want to keep him and that we make an effort - but it has to be, as it always has been historically, within our set budget."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003