Arsenal given major boost in title race as Gabriel Jesus injury return date emerges
Arsenal have been without summer signing Gabriel Jesus for vast swathes of the current campaign but the Brazilian striker appears to be edging towards a return to the pitch amid a key run of fixtures
Arsenal have been handed a major boost to their hopes of lifting the Premier League title with striker Gabriel Jesus edging towards a return to the pitch.
The Brazilian forward has been ruled out since November with a knee injury that he sustained during the World Cup. He returned to North London to undergo surgery and has been put on a detailed programme of recovery by the club’s medical staff.
He could potentially be back in contention for the Gunners sooner rather than later. Football.London report that Jesus could well be back in the squad before next month’s international break.
Domestic action pauses after the Gunners’ showdown with Crystal Palace on March 19 and Jesus could well take to the pitch during that game. Before that, Arsenal face a string of vital fixtures, with the first two coming this week against relegation strugglers Everton and Bournemouth.
The matches continue to come thick and fast with a Europa League double header against Portuguese side Sporting CP either side of a trip to Fulham. Arteta offered a brief update on his star striker’s recovery ahead of the Gunners’ Premier League victory over Leicester at the weekend.
“He’s progressing well,” the Spaniard said. “Doing more and more on the field. The knee’s not reacting so it’s really positive.”
“We want him back as quick as possible, but also respecting the timescale that the doctors and the specialists are giving us.”
Jesus enjoyed a bright start to life as an Arsenal player following a £45m move from Manchester City. He scored five goals in his opening eight Premier League games, racking up a further seven assists in all competitions alongside that.
Despite being a clear miss, Jesus’ absence has not been felt as much as it would usually have been due to Eddie Nketiah ’s impressive form. The 23-year-old has scored nine goals in all competitions this season and is just one behind current top scorer Bukayo Saka.
The Gunners’ academy graduate was left on the bench against Leicester, with Gabriel Martinelli proving the difference in a win which moved them five points clear at the top of the table.
That was only a temporary advantage though with title rivals Man City dismissing Bournemouth 4-1 to reduce the gap again. It remains to be seen whether Arteta decides to reinstate Nketiah to his starting XI this weekend.
Elsewhere, Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny remains restricted to the sidelines and appears unlikely to appear before the international break after the Gunners confirmed that he had undergone surgery.
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