By Richard Clarke

Tomas Rosicky could start the Premier League campaign for Arsenal if his pre-season training goes according to plan.

The Czech international played his first game for the Club in 18 months when he captained Arsène Wenger’s side at Barnet on Saturday.

Like the rest of the established first-teamers, Rosicky only featured for the first 45 minutes. But it was a very welcome run-out.

A troublesome hamstring tendon injury dogged the midfielder from January 2008 until late last season. He has spent the summer in light training however the nine-day training camp in Austria, which starts with a friendly in Vienna on Tuesday, will be a significant step up.

Yet, having feared for his footballing future at one point, Wenger believes that Rosicky should be ready for the big kick-off in August.

“We have to prepare him well and balance him well,” said the manager. “But if he comes through the preparations OK then he could start the season.

“There was a time I feared that [he might not come back] and I think that he felt it too. But he always had a dedicated and healthy life so I always had hope.”

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20 Jul 2009