Mikel Arteta responds to when Jurrien Timber could return to action

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said that there is a possibility that Jurrien Timber could make a realistic impact for the club before the end of the season.

The Netherlands international was very impressive for the Gunners in pre-season and he was picked to start at left-back in the opening game against Nottingham Forest.

However, he lasted for less than 50 minutes before he was substituted with a knee ligament injury. Timber went on to undergo surgery which has kept him on the sidelines.

The versatile defender has recently started training individually after his long-term setback and when pressed over a potential comeback this term, Arteta told reporters:

“There is a possibility but at the moment he’s still very far from competing. Are we hopeful that he could have a realistic impact before the end of the season? At the moment it looks like that.”

Arsenal must handle Timber’s fitness with caution

Timber’s injury came out of the blue for the Gunners. He had a relatively good injury record at Ajax and was never sidelined for the long-term during his time in Amsterdam.

His absence has been felt over the course of the season. The club have lacked his strong defensive awareness and ability to control possession in advanced attacking positions.

It has been reported that he could return to first-team action by March, but the Gunners must be extra cautious and only play him once he has fully returned to match fitness.

Timber’s return for the season run-in would be a boost for the Gunners. The £38 million signing can play anywhere in defence and should be an assured starter under Arteta when back to his best.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com

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