• Bellerin has missed the last two games with an ankle injury.
  • Gibbs and Walcott are yet to play in the New Year.

Hector Bellerin, Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs returned to training with the first team to hand Arsenal a triple injury boost ahead of their Premier League clash against Burnley on Sunday (22 January). The trio have been sidelined with ankle, calf and knee injuries respectively, but returned to the training pitch with the rest of the squad on Wednesday (18 January).

The Spaniard has missed Arsenal's last two games against Preston North End in the FA Cup and Swansea City in the league, but is likely to return for the visit of the Clarets. He has been a key performer for Arsenal this season, owing to his impact in both attack and defence. Bellerin's replacements Mathieu Debuchy and Carl Jenkinson have struggled for form and fitness, which has seen Gabriel Paulista elevated to second choice right-back with Ainsley-Maitland Niles being used for cup games.

Walcott, on the other hand, last played on 18 December against Manchester City following which he was diagnosed with a calf strain. His absence has coincided with Olivier Giroud's return to form, which has seen Alexis Sanchez occupy the place on the wing. His return will be a big boost, as Wenger will have options to change his formation, and with Danny Welbeck also returning to full fitness along with Lucas Perez's good form the manager would be spoilt for choice in the forward line.

Gibbs, meanwhile, has been sidelined since the Boxing Day clash against West Bromwich Albion when he limped off with a knee injury after 65 minutes. It was caused following a collision with Claudio Yacob. Wenger had admitted that it was a minor injury, but was not willing to risk aggravating it by rushing the defender back to action.

Nacho Monreal is the manager's preferred choice at left-back, but Gibbs has impressed despite the limited opportunity offered to him in the league this season. He was making just his second start in the Premier League during the game against the Baggies, but injury hampered his chance of staking a claim for a regular starting role.

Hector Bellerin
Hector Bellerin and Theo Walcott have returned to training with the first team ahead of Arsenal's clash against Burnley Getty

Elsewhere, Giroud was absent from first-team training and is mostly a doubt for the game against Burnley. The Frenchman suffered an ankle injury during the win over Swansea, and Wenger was unsure of the extent of the injury. He was being assessed by the doctor and a clear picture will be available when Wenger addresses the press in his weekly briefing on Thursday.