Mikel Arteta has targeted a return to first-team action within "another week or two".
The Arsenal captain has been absent since going off with an ankle injury during the Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund back in November, but the Spanish midfielder's rehabilitation is now almost complete.
He played an hour as an over-age player for the under-21s in their win over Stoke City at Emirates earlier this month, and is back in full training.
"I played for the under-21s against Stoke recently, and I've been feeling OK, but I'm not in a position yet where I can feel perfect and just go out there forgetting about my ankle"
"I haven’t trained enough with the team yet to come back into the side," said Arteta in his programme notes for Sunday's game against Chelsea.
"We need to manage the workload on the ankle. I played for the under-21s against Stoke recently, and I've been feeling OK, but I'm not in a position yet where I can feel perfect and just go out there forgetting about my ankle."
Arteta, who skippered the side during last year's FA Cup final, is still hopeful that he can return in time to help the side lift silverware again this season.
"I need to train more with the team, get my confidence and build it up. My aim now is to train with the team for another week or two and then be able to say to the boss 'OK, I'm ready now if you want to pick me.'
"It's been a frustrating time for me, but I would love to be able to finish the season by lifting a trophy of course."
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