By Richard Clarke  

Arsène Wenger has pleaded for more patience with Eduardo's comeback.

Arsenal’s Croatian striker is now fully fit after suffering an horrific broken leg at Birmingham last February. However, with only 45 minutes of Reserve team action under his belt, he is still well short of full match-fitness.

“Eduardo is fit now and available to play,” Wenger told Arsenal TV Online. “Of course he lacks competition and you can’t put him into a Premier League game at the moment. But I have been impressed with his performances in training this week.”

Eduardo’s plans were not helped by the postponement of this week’s Reserve game at West Brom. And when asked about a possible return against Cardiff in the FA Cup at the end of January, Wenger was very cautious.

“We will see how he develops now,” said the manager. "Everybody is so impatient with him.

"You know that [the] most difficult part for a player when he has been out for so long is for him to be patient enough to be competitive at the top level. They feel they are ready but you know they are not quite ready.

“Let’s not rush it too much. He has played 45 minutes after nine months out so that means he is not ready to play in the Premier League just yet.”

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9 Jan 2009