Mikel Arteta issues new Jurrien Timber update ahead of Arsenal return

Mikel Arteta issues new Jurrien Timber update ahead of Arsenal return

Jurrien Timber still has “a few steps to make” before he can return for Arsenal.

The defender has been out of action since August after injuring his knee in the first Premier League game of the season.

Timber is now back training with the Arsenal squad and Mikel Arteta is hopeful he will be back before the end of the season.

The Arsenal manager added, however, that Timber is still not quite ready to return ahead of Sunday’s game with Aston Villa.

Asked when Timber will be back, Arteta said: “Still he’s got a few steps to make.

“He needs to play at least a game with the 23s. We’re going to have an in house game too soon. He’s done everything in training now it’s about getting him match fit, having people around him and competing in a football match which is different to training.

“Hopefully [he can give us] a lot. From what we’ve seen in training and the time that he was fit, he’s going to have a big, big impact in the team.”

Arsenal striker Gabriel Jesus has also been battling a knee injury and he revealed earlier this week he has been playing through the pain barrier.Arteta is confident the Brazilian will be able to handled that and perform for the Gunners during the run-in.

“In elite sport to play without pain, I think it is very difficult,” said Arteta.

“When you play every three days especially, and the level that we play, if you ask any player they will say that: ‘Yeah, sometimes there is pain and you have to deal with that’.

“That is what makes you as well and Gabi has this toughness and this character that he always wants to overcome [it]. He has overcome some difficulties in terms of injuries and he is ready again.”