Arsenal have been handed a big boost on the injury front as Gabriel Jesus was pictured in training on Thursday.
The Brazilian striker, who missed a large chunk of last season after injuring his knee at the World Cup, underwent surgery towards the end of pre-season in a bid to fully resolve the aforementioned knee problem.
Jesus’ surgery was disclosed at the start of August, and he’s been out of action since. At the time, it was expected that the striker would miss the start of Arsenal’s 2023/24 campaign, but no timeframe for his potential return was revealed.
Updates regarding Jesus’ fitness have come few and far between throughout August before Arsenal fans were greeted with the news of his return to training on Thursday.
Arsenal handed big injury boost ahead of Fulham clash
Jesus joined in with teammates at London Colney for the first time since his knee surgery, with reports saying that the Brazilian was fully involved in training.
While there was no timescale for his return, it appears that the striker has come back ahead of schedule which is a major boost for Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard has primarily relied upon Eddie Nketiah up top in Jesus’ absence, although Kai Havertz was used in an advanced position during the Gunners’ Community Shield triumph over Man City.
Nketiah has performed well at the start of the Premier League season, scoring in the win over Nottingham Forest before winning the penalty which led to Martin Odegaard’s winner against Crystal Palace. Despite Jesus’ return to training, Nketiah will likely lead the line again on Saturday as Arsenal host Fulham.
However, Jesus could be ready for minutes off the bench ahead of the following Sunday’s big domestic encounter against Man Utd at the Emirates. It’s worth noting that it took the former City forward a couple of games to get up to speed towards the end of last season when he returned from his lengthy layoff.
Arteta will hope that Jesus’ speedy comeback means no such rust will manifest on this occasion, although the Gunners must be cautious over his reintegration. He’s such an important cog in Mikel’s project, and Arsenal can ill-afford to rush the Brazilian international back.