Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck is set to return to training with the team for the first time this season on Wednesday (27 January). The forward has been sidelined with a knee injury for more than nine months with his last appearance coming during the Gunners' 0-0 draw against Chelsea in April 2015.
According to the Daily Mail, Arsene Wenger will monitor the forward's progress in training with a view to introducing him into the first-team in February if all goes according to plan. The manager is likely to take extra precautions owing to the length of his absence and will be keen to avoid a setback.
The 25-year-old forward is likely to be drafted into the Arsenal U21 set up for upcoming games against Brighton and Hove Albion on 5 February and Swansea City on 15 February before being considered for a return to the first-team. According to the Mirror, the club could also organize a behind-closed doors fixture specifically for Welbeck to build match fitness.
Arsenal are battling for the Premier League title this season and are currently in the third place, three points behind surprise leaders Leicester City. The north London club are also in contention in the FA Cup and Champions League and the return of Welbeck to the first-team fold will be a big boost to Wenger, who will have an added avenue in attack to complement Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott with the former shouldering most of the goal scoring burden this far this campaign.
The Emirates Stadium outfit's injury crisis seems to be easing going into the latter stages of the season. Francis Coquelin and Tomas Rosicky are also back in training and could return for the FA Cup clash against Burnley on Saturday (30 January), which leaves Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere as the only two players on the treatment table.