By Chris Harris

Theo Walcott is still leading the race to be the first of Arsenal's long-term absentees to return to action.

The England international dislocated his shoulder while on international duty in November but Arsène Wenger revealed that Walcott could get the "green light" for his comeback in four weeks' time.

Arsenal fans will have to wait a little longer to see Tomas Rosicky or Cesc Fabregas. The Czech star has been sidelined by a tendon problem for over a year while Fabregas will not be rushed back despite suggesting in his West Ham programme notes that his recovery from knee ligament damage was ahead of schedule.

“Walcott is the closest because he has four weeks before he sees a specialist again and then he should get the green light," said Wenger.

“Fabregas, I believe, will be six to eight weeks before playing. I can understand his optimism, and we hope [that he will be back quicker] but with a medial knee ligament you have to respect the time.

“For Rosicky, [it will be] eight weeks.”

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 Feb 2009