Arsenal have been handed a major injury boost ahead of their second Premier League game against Stoke City on Saturday (19 August) after star forward Alexis Sanchez returned to first-team training.

The Chilean missed the opening game of the season against Leicester City due to a minor abdominal strain and was labeled a doubt for the game against the Potters at the Bet365 Stadium.

Arsene Wenger revealed that Saturday's game could come too soon for Sanchez, but the striker's desire to return to action looks to have trumped any caution aired by the medical team. The 28-year-old was pictured taking part in an intense training session with the rest of the first-team squad on Friday and is likely to be involved in the squad that travels to Stoke.

Sanchez in unlikely to start the game as Wenger will be wary of rushing him into action, but could be involved from the bench later in the game. His return to action will come as a big boost for the manager as Arsenal look to continue their winning start to the season despite Stoke not being a favoured hunting ground in recent seasons.

Talks about the Chile international's future at the north London club has dominated press conferences since the end of last season and this summer. But the Gunners boss has been adamant that he will not be allowed to leave the club this summer despite Sanchez entering the final-year of his contract and no progress being made on a potential extension. Manchester City have been on his trail with the latest report suggesting that they are planning a £60m ($77m) bid to tempt Arsenal into parting with their prized asset.

Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere has also stepped up his return from injury with the midfielder also joining the first-team training session. The England international, however, is unlikely to be in the squad with Wenger hinting that he will again play for the Under-23 side on Monday in order to build further match fitness.

Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez returned to first-team training ahead of Arsenal's clash against Stoke Getty