By Chris Harris
Mikael Silvestre is ready to lend his weight to Arsenal's push for honours after making a successful comeback in the Reserves on Monday night.
The French defender completed 90 minutes for the second string in their goalless draw at Chelsea - his first action since limping off after 30 minutes of the FA Cup tie against Plymouth on January 3.
At the time Arsène Wenger suggested that Silvestre would be out for just "three weeks" but he was eventually sidelined for more than two months. The 31-year-old explained why after Monday night's game.
"It has been the second injury for me," Silvestre told Arsenal.com.
"It was the same leg, my left leg, but this time it wasn't the muscle, it was the tendon, so that takes much longer to recover and you have to make sure it is completely healed before you can go back in the team. That’s why it was so long this time.
"It was very good to be back. There have been so many big games and the team is doing well so you want to enjoy that as much as you can and be involved. I am glad of our progress and hopefully I can join in now."
Silvestre was a rare older head in a young Arsenal side at Griffin Park, most of whom are eligible for the Youth Cup squad. The Frenchman was impressed by his teenage team-mates and will be an interested observer when the Under-18s face Manchester City in their Semi-Final second leg at Emirates Stadium.
"They are good," he said. "When the manager asked me to play in the Reserves I said 'no problem, I will' because I know I will enjoy myself because we play good football, we have good attacking skills. There is a good atmosphere in the Reserves.
"We could have won the game but a clean sheet is always enjoyable when you are a defender. The game was good from one end to the other, there were lots of chances for both teams. We should have scored in the first half, at least two or three, but after the last two defeats in the Reserve League the lads were pleased with a draw.
"I will be watching them in the Youth Cup, of course. It is a very interesting competition. We have the same in France and it brings back good memories for me when I watch the Arsenal youngsters."Copyright 2016 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