Gabriel Paulista has described himself as "almost 100% recovered" from the injury sustained earlier this month, and is eager to return to action as soon as possible. This is a major boost for Arsene Wenger ahead of a crucial week that sees Arsenal's hopes of winning the Premier League under severe testing, with a trip to Manchester United on Sunday (28 February) before a midweek home game against Swansea and the derby with Tottenham Hotspur on 5 March.
The Brazilian centre-back took advantage of Per Mertesacker's dismissal during the defeat against Chelsea to establish himself in the heart of Arsenal's back-line, starting the subsequent games against Burnley, Southampton and Bournemouth. The former Villarreal was expected to keep his place for the crunch match with Leicester City, but a hamstring injury during the a trainning session forced Wenger to restore Mertesacker.
Gabriel has also missed the games against Hull City and Barcelona, but has suggested he is ready for a return to action in the game at Old Trafford.
"I'm almost 100% recovered. I've already started to do the strengthening work," the Arsenal defender said as quoted by Standard Sport.
Gabriel admitted he was so frustrated about the injury that he returned to his homeland to continue his recovery with former club Vitória.
"I went to Brazil briefly to try and recover, and also to be close to my family as well. Now I'm back and working with the help of Arsenal's medical team to come back," he said.
"I'm very happy with the training sessions at the end of last week and hope to continue with this work to be able to be at the manager's disposal soon.
"I had been playing well for four or five consecutive games, being praised by everyone, so this injury took me by surprise. It made me sad, that's why I returned to Brazil.
"But now I want to recover as quickly as possible to be able to play with the team as soon as I can."