Gibbs sets return date

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Football News

Kieran Gibbs has handed Arsenal a major injury boost by declaring himself fit for the visit of Manchester United on January 22nd.

The 22-year-old hasn't played since October's win over Sunderland, having previously featured just nine times this season before a hernia operation.

A thigh problem delayed his return in December, but with manager Arsene Wenger continuing to lose full-backs to injury, with Francis Coquelin the latest victim with a hamstring problem, news of Gibbs' return is a timely boost.

"I’ll be back after 10 days, if the scan outcome is positive," he said. "I had another operation weeks ago, now everything is better.”

If correct, Gibbs will return in time to take on champions United at the Emirates Stadium, on a weekend that could have huge implications for Arsenal's Champions League qualification hopes, as neighbours Tottenham Hotspur travel to leaders Manchester City.

Long-term injuries to Bacary Sagna, Andre Santos, Carl Jenkinson was set to leave Wenger requiring to delve into the loan market for a temporary replacement, with Manchester City's Wayne Bridge mentioned in dispatches.

Gibbs' recovery will also allow him to mount a charge for a spot in England's squad for next summer's European Championships.

With Ashley Cole assured of a place in Fabio Capello's 23-man squad, Gibbs will compete with the likes of Leighton Baines and Stephen Warnock England's understudy at left-back.

But Gibbs added: “I try not to think too far ahead, I want to focus on getting back to full fitness.

"Hopefully if I have a good run of games until the end of the season then I may go, but I have been out for nearly three months now. So first I will focus on Arsenal and see what happens after that.”

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