Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck is reportedly on course for a Christmas return despite earlier reports that the striker faces around six months on the sidelines.
It emerged last week that the Gunners frontman is facing a lengthy lay-off after underdoing surgery on a knee problem.
But the Daily Telegraph claims the player is already well ahead of schedule and could make his return in action ahead of the hectic festive schedule – news which will come as a huge boost to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who is being forced to rely solely on the services of Olivier Giroud.
Wenger has come under intense criticism for failing to buy strikers in the summer when he was aware of Welbeck’s extended absence.
In other Gunners injury news, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are expected to be available again for Saturday’s clash with Stoke City.
Koscielny played 90 minutes for Arsenal against Newcastle but Mertesacker has missed the Gunners’ last two Premier League games with a virus.
Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, meanwhile, should resume training next week.