Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has received a major boost as Lukas Podolski returns to training with the first team squad as he bids to get back to competitive action for the first time since August.
The German international picked up a serous hamstring injury in a Champions League qualifier against Fenaerbahce on 27 August and has been forced to watch on from the side lines as Arsenal made a huge impressive start to the season.
Podolski featured in the shock 3-1 loss to Aston Villa on the opening day of the season but quickly helped the club get back on track as he scored two goals in the 3-1 in over Fulham just a week later.
Since his injury Arsenal have excelled as they currently sit top of the Premier League table and on the verge of qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League, but Wenger will still have been desperate for the forward to get back to full fitness.
While Olivier Giroud has impressed playing as a lone striker, Nicklas Bendtner has received criticism from supporters for his displays and Podolski's return will provide another top class option for Wenger.
The 28-year-old scored 11 league goals last season and will undoubtedly play a huge role for the remainder of the season as the Gunners look to finally end their long wait for a major trophy.
Podolski was still training by himself yesterday but took to Twitter to reveal that he would be back with the first team on Friday.
"Good news: I can start with the team today!!" said Podolski, who is unlikely to be in contention for a place in the squad for the tricky home game against Everton on Sunday.
Now he is back training alongside the rest of the first team squad he will be desperate to show Wenger that he deserves a chance in the first team, though it will not be an easy decision for the Arsenal boss who has a wealth of options in attacking positions alongside Giroud.
With Theo Walcott now back to full fitness and Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla all able to play in a front three, it may mean Podolski has to be patient before getting his chance to impress.