Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck is reportedly ahead of schedule in his recovery from a serious knee injury and could play again before the end of 2016.
The England international suffered damage to his cartilage at the end of last season, and in turn was ruled out of Euro 2016 with the setback.
Initial tests suggested that he would be sidelined until February next year, although Arsene Wenger conceded that April could have been a more realistic comeback date.
However, as noted by The Express, the former Manchester United striker has received positive news after an exploratory procedure was carried out on his knee, and revealed that he is months ahead of schedule.
“He has an inflammation of his knee and they had to go in again to see if it is healing well or not,” Wenger said. “If the healing was not good, he would have been out until April, but the news was excellent and he will be back around Christmas.
“He had a second check with a camera inside. That was the good news of last week, the only good news. That was very positive.”
It’s certainly some welcome news for Wenger and the Gunners, but it won’t improve the mood at the Emirates too much following their start to the campaign.
Aside from the fact that Arsenal fell to defeat to Liverpool in their opening game of the new Premier League season last weekend, Wenger’s inactivity in the transfer market has led to further anger with supporters.
Granit Xhaka remains the club’s only marquee signing this summer, and with injuries sustained by Per Mertesacker and Gabriel, a new defender is desperately needed.
With Welbeck still out for a significant period of time, Arsenal’s search for another striker is likely to continue, although time will tell as to whether or not Wenger is able to act and bring in the players that he needs and the fans want to see.