Arsenal have received an injury update regarding striker Gabriel Jesus.
Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus has handed Mikel Arteta a fitness boost after the striker posted an encouraging update in relation to his recovery from a knee problem. The Brazilian has not featured since before the World Cup after he was ruled out of the tournament due to his injury, but the £45million signing is edging closer to making his return to action earlier than expected.
The 25-year-old posted an Instagram story of himself walking out onto the grass at London Colney and he was clearly delighted to put his boots back on, posting the caption: “After eight weeks!” with a smiling emoji and prayer hands.
Back in December, Arteta said that Jesus would be ruled out for at least three months as he underwent surgery on his knee.
But last month, Jesus posted an image to his 20.8 million followers on Instagram showing him juggling a ball inside the gym at Arsenal’s training ground to suggest he is nearly able to join full training again.
And it appears his recovery is still on track for him to return for the crucial second half of the season, as the Gunners compete for the Premier League title as he was pictured out on the grass for the first time.
It will create a headache for the Arsenal boss, however, due to the superb form displayed by Eddie Nketiah of late in Jesus’ absence. The 23-year-old has stepped into the team to deputise as the central striker and has produced a fine return of seven goals in his last eight games, including a double in the 3-2 win over Manchester United.
Arteta admitted he was not expecting Nketiah to have such an impact on the team when he discovered Jesus was out injured, but his form caused the Spaniard to abort plans to bring in a striker and sign a winger instead, with Leandro Trossard arriving from Brighton.
But sooner or later, Arteta will be faced with the dilemma as a crucial top-of-the-table clash with Manchester City to prepare for four days after that.
Having spent a sizeable amount to get the former City forward last summer, it seems likely that Jesus would be first-choice when he regains full match fitness. The Brazil international has scored five goals and assisted another five for his team-mates in 14 Premier League appearances this season.
But as long as Nketiah is finding the net, Arteta will face a conundrum which player to start.