Carl Jenkinson has handed Arsenal a massive injury boost ahead of the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur after featuring for the reserves on Tuesday night.
The 20-year-old hasn't played since November's win over West Bromwich following a back injury.
But after 45 minutes against Norwich City, Jenkinson has taken a step towards full fitness.
"It is fantastic to be back,” he said. “It has been really hard coming in every day and doing my rehab stuff, but I am delighted to be back now.
“The injury felt fine; I had no problems with it at all, which is great news because you never know how you are going to react in a game.
“It is a family club at Arsenal, so there are always people who will put an arm around you and try to help you out.
“The medical team have been fantastic, keeping me motivated and making sure I am doing the right things. I have got a lot to thank them for in terms of getting me back to where I am now, so I am very grateful to them.”
His return comes during a season in which Arsenal's back four has constantly been ravaged by injury.
Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Andre Santos are the current absentees, while Arsene Wenger's side struggle sat the back continue.
The Gunners shipped four goals against AC Milan in the San Siro last week, prior to their FA Cup exit at the hands of Sunderland.
Despite their trophy drought looking likely to be extended to eight seven years, the club's Champions league qualification challenge is still on track, as they occupy the fourth spot in the Premier League with 13 games remaining.
This coming weekend's visit of Spurs, themselves looking odds on to claim a Champions League spot, is likely to prove pivotal.
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