Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that Olivier Giroud could be back in first-team contention much earlier than anticipated, closing in on a return to full training in less than three weeks.
Giroud suffered a broken against Everton in Arsenal's second Premier League game of the season way back on August 23, a crushing injury blow that was thought to have ruled out the French forward until at least Christmas.
The 28-year-old has responded well to treatment though and is on track to end an absence from the first team that now stretches back 12 matches at least three weeks ahead of schedule.
'Miles ahead of schedule'
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger used his pre-match press conference for the Premier League showdown with Burnley to give a hugely encouraging progress report on Giroud's rehabilitation, sharing: "Olivier is miles ahead of schedule.
"He's doing very well. He's three weeks ahead of schedule and he will join normal training after the international break. Of course it's a big boost."
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Giroud has a fight on his hands to win back place
Wenger will no doubt be delighted to get Giroud back in his thoughts for selection before December if at all possible, but to be frank the physically imposing forward has a job on his hands to win back his place as star striker at the Emirates.
Since Giroud was ruled out Arsenal have spent £16 million on Danny Welbeck and made the England international the focal point of a pacy, vibrant attacking unit.
Giroud is a very different option and brings different qualities to the fore, although thanks to Welbeck's arrival he'll now be under illusions that to start every week for Arsenal he'll need to deliver consistent performances and above all goals when it really matters most.