By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger is confident that Tomas Rosicky will return to action before Christmas.

The Czech international limped off after 10 minutes of Arsenal's win over Newcastle in January with what was first described by his manager as a "strange, but not serious" injury. However, Rosicky has not played since.

Wenger predicted a September return for the 27-year-old as recently as last month but the rare nature of Rosicky's problem has forced the Frenchman to revise his expectations again. Speaking to Arsenal TV Online, Wenger shed some light on the Czech's progress.

"He is not close to playing again and he has not had any real setback, but the evolution [of his injury] is very slow," he said. "The recovery process is slower than we expected at the start. It doesn't look worrying but the delay is longer than expected.

"He had a re-attached tendon that was loose in his hamstring, and that demands a lot of time to re-coordinate the movements of the hamstring. That makes it very difficult to predict exactly one week more or less how much time it will take.

"But I am optimistic that before Christmas you will see him in a good shape."

Wenger had better news over the progress of Eduardo, who suffered a fractured leg and open dislocation to his ankle at Birmingham in February. The Croatian striker's rehabilitation has gone well and he is expected to return before the end of the year.

"He is still very much on course and he could be a very good surprise because he is a little ahead of schedule," revealed Wenger.

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19 Sep 2008