Theo Walcott made his long-awaited return to action tonight, playing 45 minutes in Arsenal's U21 game against Blackburn.
The England winger has been out of action since injuring his knee in the Gunners' 2-0 win over Tottenham back in January. He turned out for the first half and was substituted at the break, with Alex Iwobi taking his place. The game ended 0-0.
Arsenal's squad have been ravaged by injury in recent weeks, with no less than nine players sidelined at one stage. However, striker Olivier Giroud looks to be closing in on a return to full fitness which, along with Walcott, would represent a major boost for boss Arsene Wenger.
Walcott took part in his first training session since his injury earlier this week, and came through his first test unscathed.
As yet there is no timescale on his return to full action for Arsenal, but he is likely to be back in contention for the Champions League encounter against Anderlecht. The 25-year-old spurned a golden chance to score in the first half when teed up by Abou Diaby, who is looking to get back to full fitness himself, but pulled his shot wide of the goal.
It didn't look like he'd lost any of his sharpness despite a lengthy spell out when he skipped past four defenders early on in the game either, setting up Serge Gnabry who couldn't direct his shot goalwards.
Despite the good news regarding Walcott, Arsenal are likely to be without talisman Aaron Ramsey for some time yet, while Nacho Monreal and Mathieu Debuchy are still sidelined too.
Mesut Ozil has been ruled out until the new year after suffering a serious knee injury during the Gunners' defeat against Chelsea. Wenger revealed after the game that he suffered the injury while passing the ball with the outside of his foot.
‘He had a little problem just before he went out at half-time. He had a little pain with his knee, he felt a crack,' the Frenchman said.
There was some concern over Laurent Koscielny after he was forced to return from international duty with France early, and he is unlikely to feature in their fixture against Hull this weekend - although his problem is not considered serious.
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