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(Photo) Arsenal team news: Bellerin steps up push for Stoke return, midfield general is back while key duo still out until January

Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin was in training on Friday as he pushes to return to action against Stoke City at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon.

The Spaniard has been sidelined by an ankle injury since the north London derby against Tottenham last month, and had been scheduled to be ruled out for four weeks.

However, he could now make his highly-anticipated return against Stoke on Saturday, provided he passes a late fitness test as Arsene Wenger failed to rule out the possibility of selecting him in his press conference on Thursday, as noted by Sky Sports.

Gabriel has improved in the role having filled in with Carl Jenkinson struggling to make an impression, while Mathieu Debuchy suffered a setback just 15 minutes into his comeback from injury.

In turn, it will be a major boost to see Bellerin back in training although there will be a concern of rushing him back and so this weekend may come too soon for him.

Elsewhere, Francis Coquelin is available for selection again after he missed out in midweek in the Champions League due to suspension. However, it remains to be seen who drops out as Granit Xhaka played well in that game and Mohamed Elneny has made a strong case to start too.

Wenger went on to add that Santi Cazorla had a “perfect” operation, and believes that it will take at least two months before he returns, while the Arsenal boss also went on to reveal that both Danny Welbeck and Per Mertesacker are doing well but they aren’t expected back until the New Year, as per Sky Sports.

More Stories Danny Welbeck Francis Coquelin Hector Bellerin Per Mertesacker Santi Cazorla