By Declan Taylor

Tomas Rosicky must overcome any personal doubt in order to make his long-awaited return to competitive football. That’s the opinion of Arsène Wenger.

It is just under 15 months since the Czech midfielder was last spotted playing for Arsenal and the ever-lengthening spell on the sidelines has naturally raised question marks over his professional career. But, although Wenger admits Rosicky will not be available until next season, the manager is “confident” the 28-year-old will return, eventually.

However, speaking at Friday’s pre-match press conference, the manager explained why Tomas’ full recovery depends on both physical and psychological factors.

“He has ups and downs,” Wenger acknowledged. “When he is convinced that he will come back he is very strong, highly motivated every day. When the doubt creeps in, he has another setback.

“Of course, he wonders always, what’s going on there. And when we can convince him again, ‘Oh no, it’s fine, you can practice again’, he’s fantastic.

“I am confident he will come back, but not this season.

“He has not played for 14 months, so that’s why I said the season is over. Even if he starts to practice today he has no chance to come back before the end of the season.

“At the moment it’s small problems, that we call adjustment problems.”

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24 Apr 2009