Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hinted that midfielder Jack Wilshere could make his return from injury sooner than expected.
The England international was expected to be out of action until February after suffering a foot injury during the Gunners' pre-season preparations for the current season.
And, whilst Wenger suggested that the second month of 2012 is still the teenager's probable return date, he's expects Wilshere to be pushing the medical expectations in an effort to come back sooner rather than later.
"Jack Wilshere does not need too many people to look after his career. The most important thing for him is that he gets fit again," said Wenger during his pre-match press conference.
"The positive news for us and England is that he is progressing very quickly.
"I would keep February (as his return date), but Jack pushes every day to be back quicker than the medical expectations of course. He might win the battle."
The news will come as a major boost to players and fans alike at the Emirates Stadium, not least midfield partner Aaron Ramsey.
Already Welsh captain at the age of 21, the pressure has been on Ramsey to impress in the absence of Wilshere fore the Gunners, and he's confident he can improve further in 2012.
"I’m happy with what I’ve achieved so far, and especially with the way things are going for me personally this season, but hopefully there’s a lot more to come," he said.
"What happened with my injury is behind me now, and I’m just really glad to be back playing for Arsenal regularly. I still have plenty of things to learn, but with any luck I’ll be able to bring more to the team in 2012."
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