Arsenal have received a huge boost with the news that long-term injury victim Thomas Vermaelen is to return to action for the club's reserve team on Thursday.
The Belgian defender has been ruled out of action since last September with an Achillies tendon injury and was expected to be out of action until the end of the season.
But with just four league games left until the end of the season, Vermaelen will give Arsene Wenger a boost by return to action.
However, the centre-back is not expected to recover in time to play for Arsenal against Manchester United at the Emirates on Sunday but could return to the first team before the end of the season to help improve the Gunners' chances of claiming the Barclays Premier League title.
Without the defender, Arsenal's defensive troubles have underminded their season as they lost the Carling Cup final and crashed out of the Champions League and the FA Cup in quick succession.