By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger will tread carefully with Cesc Fabregas until he is sure the Arsenal captain has made a full recovery.

Fabregas suffered medial knee ligament damage during the 1-1 draw with Liverpool on December 21 but has now resumed light ball-work.

The 21-year-old’s appearance on the training pitches was one of the talking points of Wenger’s pre-match press conference on Monday. Fabregas is keen to return as soon as possible but his manager refuses to rush him back.

“He is definitely not in the squad [for the first leg against Roma] or for the second leg,” said Wenger.

“But after the second leg he will not be far if it all goes well. It will be two or three weeks I think until he is back in normal training.

“He can play now but a medial knee ligament takes six to eight weeks and if you go into any contact like we did against Sunderland [on Saturday] you need solid knees.

“He says that [he can play] and yes, I have to tell him it’s not possible. But the doctor tells him that first.”

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24 Feb 2009