By Richard Clarke in Austria
Robin van Persie could be the most nervous player on the pitch when Arsenal take on Paris Saint-Germain in the Emirates Cup on Saturday.
It is hardly a high-pressure game but it will complete the Dutchman's journey back from serious injury.
On January 21 this year, Van Persie slid in at the far post to bring Arsenal level against Manchester United at Emirates Stadium. As he celebrated he did not realise he had broken the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot. It would cost him the rest of that season.
On Saturday it will be six months and one week since that day. Van Persie has already begun exorcising any lingering ghosts here in Austria but a happy return to his home ground will seal his comeback.
"I am looking forward to playing in the Emirates Cup," the 23-year-old told Arsenal.com. "It has been a while for me since I played at Emirates Stadium and I really missed it.
"I am up for this tournament. I am not 100 per cent yet so I'll be using the Emirates Cup to get my touch and my fitness back. It is PSG and Inter Milan, two strong sides. But I think it is better to play two big teams in pre-season. It gets you to your level quicker."
Van Persie struck twice in Arsenal's opening game in Austria. The first came just before half time against Turkish side Genclerbirligi on Thursday. Theo Walcott played a tantalising ball to the far post and the former Feyenoord striker slid home. It was a special moment.
"For me my whole injury ended with my goal against Genclerbirligi," he said. "People told me afterwards that it was like the last goal I scored against Manchester United. Even the boss said it was quite similar.
"I did not realise that at that time. But for me it is like 'OK I scored that goal against Manchester United and I scored a similar goal now'. So that is it for me. This period has gone. It is time to get it on and start again. It is in the past, it is history.
"That said, I will certainly have some feelings when I play my first game at Emirates again. I don't really know how I will feel. I think I could be quite nervous but I am certainly looking forward to it."
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