Eduardo nears Gunners return

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Arsene Wenger believes it will not be long before Arsenal see striker Eduardo back in action.

The Brazilian-born Croatia striker suffered an horrific broken leg following an X-rated challenge from Matthew Taylor at Birmingham in February. However, the 25-year-old is now closing in on a return to competitive action with the Gunners.

"As soon as possible, he will play now," Wenger confirmed. "He is joining in full training matches, but he needs games now."

Saturday's home clash with Wigan will come too soon for Eduardo, and deposed captain William Gallas is also set to miss out because of a calf injury.

However, Wenger hopes to have defender Kolo Toure back from a similar problem while Emmanuel Eboue may return after a knee injury.

"We certainly lose Gallas for Saturday, but we have Mikael Silvestre, who will be available," said the Arsenal manager.

"We have Kolo Toure available again and he is more suited to playing on the right side [of central defence]. We will see until Saturday how well he is."

The Gunners kick-started their campaign last weekend with a 2-1 victory over Chelsea after coming from behind at Stamford Bridge.

Although still some eight points adrift of leaders Liverpool - who must come to Emirates Stadium on December 21 - it was a second win over their direct rivals, having also seen off Manchester United last month.

It marked the end of a troubled spell both on and off the pitch for Arsene Wenger's men, now led by new skipper Cesc Fabregas after Gallas was stripped of the captaincy for airing his controversial views in public.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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Emmanuel Eboue
Matthew Taylor
Mikael Silvestre
Premier League
Kolo Toure
Manchester United
Matthew Taylor
Wigan Athletic
William Gallas
Charlton Athletic

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