Arsenal defender Héctor Bellerín has given a timeline for his return from injury.
The right-back has been sidelined for the Gunners since picking up an ankle injury in the North London derby against Tottenham earlier this month, apparently all but ending his involvement this side of the calendar year.
Speaking to the Mirror, however, Bellerín said that the recovery was progressing well and, all going as planned, should be able to return to action in around four weeks.
The 21-year-old even hopes to be involved for the tail-end of Arsenal’s Christmas fixture schedule, namely the matches against West Brom and Crystal Palace in late December/early January.
“It’s going really good. Better than I expected.
“It is a hard injury to recover from and a bit painful.
“But I am going to try to be running from this week and hopefully I’ll be back on the pitch in less than four weeks.”
Bellerín’s return from injury can’t come soon enough for his side, as a serious hamstring injury picked up by Mathieu Debuchy less than 20 minutes into the game against Bournemouth at the weekend leaves just Carl Jenkinson as Arsenal’s only remaining senior right-back, and question marks remain over his own fitness after a long absence through injury.
Shkodran Mustafi could also theoretically play in the role if needed, but manager Arsene Wenger has already stated that he doesn’t want to disrupt the £35m signings progress by playing him anywhere other than his natural position.
Wenger is likely to make significant changes for the EFL Cup quarter-final tie against Southampton on Wednesday night. Goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez is expected to start, as are Alex Iwobi, Kieran Gibbs and Jeff Reine-Adélaide. Lucas Pérez may also be selected despite only recently returning to full training, as Olivier Giroud has a slight hamstring strain and Alexis Sánchez will likely be given a rest.