Supporters were cruelly denied the chance to enjoy Jurrien Timber for a sustained period at the start of his Arsenal career after he succumbed to an ACL injury on Matchday 1 of the 2023/24 season.
The versatile Dutch defender, who joined from Ajax for just shy of £40m in the summer, was set to play a key role for Mikel Arteta's side after impressing in pre-season.
Timber starred at left-back as the Gunners overcame Manchester City to win the 2023 Community Shield.
Since the very worst was revealed in the wake of his withdrawal against Nottingham Forest, the fanbase has been borderline obsessed with his recovery. Supposed ITKs have posted updates relentlessly regarding his recovery, which has so far gone smoothly.
The former Ajax star is now closing in on a return to action.
The latest Jurrien Timber injury update will thrill Arsenal supporters
Some were certainly optimistic in regards to when Timber will make his comeback, although it appears Mikel Arteta was somewhat pessimistic in somewhat being "hopeful" that the defender will play again this season.
That now appears to be a near certainty should he sail through the final stage of his recovery.
Timber was out on the grass working with the ball during the club's warm-weather training camp in Dubai and is now set for a return to training in February - per the Daily Mail's Sami Mokbel (via @afcstuff).
Should the latest reports prove correct, Timber will be back in an Arsenal shirt potentially before the March international break. A full return to training has been projected by the end of February which means that while he'll miss the first leg of the club's Champions League round of 16 tie against Porto, he could be available for the return fixture.
Arsenal also have a critical Premier League fixture with Manchester City at the end of March. Arteta won't want to rush Timber back, but he'll want the Dutchman to have minutes under his belt by the time they travel to the Etihad.
Either way, the thought of Timber in an Arsenal shirt again is one that should enthral supporters ahead of the run-in. His brilliance was clear last summer, with the Dutchman set to play a huge role down the stretch.