Arsenal have received a major boost regarding the fitness of Gabriel Jesus, who has returned to training with the team ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Fulham.
The Brazil international missed a good chunk of the 2022-23 season due to a knee injury and subsequent surgery following the World Cup, which he aggravated during pre-season.
Jesus had to go under the knife again to address the issue, leaving Eddie Nketiah, Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard as Mikel Arteta‘s out-and-out central options for the time being.
However, Jesus’s second knee injury was nowhere near as serious as his first, and the ex-Manchester City man was expected to make a full recovery at some point in September.
Jesus’s rehabilitation appears to be going better than expected, though, as he has already been seen conducting his warm-ups with the rest of the team ahead of the visit of the Cottagers.
It is unclear whether the 26-year-old was able to take part in any ball work following their earlier exercises, and his participation this weekend is therefore still in serious doubt, but his imminent return to full fitness will be music to the ears of Arteta.
Nketiah has been given the nod through the middle during the Gunners’ opening two fixtures against Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace, and the former England Under-21 international came up with telling contributions in both matches.
Nketiah scored Arsenal’s first goal of the Premier League season in their 2-1 victory over Forest before winning a penalty at Selhurst Park on Monday, which Martin Odegaard converted to give the Gunners a 1-0 triumph.
However, the 24-year-old was also guilty of missing two gilt-edged chances in the first half of that London derby, and Arteta will welcome an attacking dilemma ahead of the visit of Manchester United on September 3.
While Jesus is closing in on a comeback, fellow knee victim Jurrien Timber will be spending several months recuperating from the severe ACL injury he sustained against Forest on the opening day of the season.