Arsene Wenger has revealed Danny Welbeck will return from injury earlier than expected for Arsenal.
Welbeck was ruled out for nine months after injuring his knee in a 2-2 draw with Manchester City in May.
However, the England international returned to hospital last week and a further examination gave Wenger a rare positive on the injury front.
“If the healing was not good, he would have been out until April. The news was excellent and he will be back around Christmas,” he said.
“That was the good news of last week, the only good news. That was very positive.”
Arsenal remain hindered by a host of injuries, with Aaron Ramsey and Alex Iwobi now sidelined after the 4-3 defeat to Liverpool.
Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista’s injuries have left Wenger desperately short of experienced campaigners at centre-back and the club have been linked with a move for Southampton’s Jose Fonte.
“If it is a guy of 32 and we think he has the quality then we will do it,” Wenger said.
“We have been in the market a long time but if you look around in Europe, all my friends I call are all looking for centre-backs but they cannot find them.”