Mikel Arteta answers whether Jurrien Timber will play for Arsenal again this season

  • Jurrien Timber was back on the grass during Arsenal's training camp in Dubai
  • Mikel Arteta says the defender still has a way to go until he returns
  • Timber tore his ACL back in August
Jurrien Timber stepped up his recovery in Dubai
Jurrien Timber stepped up his recovery in Dubai / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Mikel Arteta has provided a positive update regarding Jurrien Timber's recovery from a torn ACL, but admitted the defender is still "very far" away from returning to action.

Timber joined the club from Ajax last season in what appeared to be a bargain deal given his profile. Supporters were immediately impressed by his pre-season performances, and he was destiend to play a key role for Arteta's side in year one.

The Dutchman, however, hasn't featured since the opening weekend of the 2023/24 Premier League season after tearing his ACL in Arsenal's 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest.

Timber has been on the mend since, and there were optimistic reports towards the end of 2023 that the defender could return in time for the Gunners' Champions League round of 16 tie against FC Porto in February. Such optimism was seemingly vindicated by the defender taking to the field during the club's warm-weather training camp in Dubai.

Mikel Arteta provides latest Jurrien Timber injury update

Supposed Arsenal ITKs still believe that Timber is set to return next month, but Arteta provided a more cautious assessment.

"At the moment he’s still really far from competing and that’s the realistic picture of it," the boss said. However, when asked whether Timber will feature before the end of the season, the Spaniard provided a more positive response: "There is a possibility.

"We’re hopeful that he can have an impact at the end of the season if everything goes well there looks like a chance that can happen but I think it’s too early to make that call," he said.

The return of Timber would be huge for the run-in, and Arteta will hope that his side are still in Premier League contention following their festive/new year blip.

Arsenal are back in action on Saturday as they host an out-of-form Crystal Palace. The boss provided little in regards to the statuses of Oleksandr Zinchenko

and Jorginho, both of whom missed the final training session in Dubai, for Saturday's game.