By Rob Kelly

Conor Henderson returned to action last week after eight months out with a knee injury - to the delight of reserves manager Neil Banfield.

Henderson damaged knee ligaments in pre-season and has not played a competitive game this term. But the cultured midfielder appeared in a friendly against Reading to take a big step forward in his rehabilitation.

"Conor came on for Abou Diaby and it was nice to see him playing again," Banfield told Arsenal.com. "It is always hard after a cruciate injury but he did fine.

"He will have more involvement over the next few weeks and is working towards getting ready for the Newcastle game [on April 10].

"Conor has been a prospect for some years, but he has been hindered by these injuries. It is tough to take at the time, but he will have come through it stronger and hopefully he will have an injury-free career now."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 2 Apr 2012