Danny Welbeck says he’s hoping to return in the New Year as he recuperates from the knee operation he underwent in early September.
The England international hasn’t kicked a ball in anger since picking up an injury in late April and he admits that he’s found his lengthy stint on the sidelines very frustrating.
Currently visiting Arsenal’s youth projects out in Dubai, the 24-year-old striker told local paper The National that he’s edging closer to time on the pitch.
“It’s difficult to put an exact date on it [his return], around the New Year. After I had the operation I was in a leg brace for about four weeks, which wasn’t easy.
“I had to do a lot of machine work, about six hours a day. Sleeping in a leg brace isn’t good. At night it’s not comfortable; it was the first time I slept on my back in years.
“It’s good to finally be out of the brace now and walking. It feels like I’m getting that little bit closer to getting back out on the pitch.”
“It’s frustrating being on the sidelines and watching in – you feel kind of helpless. But you just have to keep motivated. The appetite’s there, you just want to get back out on the pitch and show what you can do. So it’s difficult but you’ve got to see the positive side of things at times.
“Obviously there are some days when you just want to be back out there playing, but it’s a process and something that I’ve learnt to deal with in time. But it’s hard.”
While Welbeck’s been stuck in the gym the Gunners have moved up the Premier League table to second, just two points behind current leaders Manchester City.
The striker says it’s a promising state of affairs but believes the squad can still improve after some inconsistent results this term.
“The most important thing, obviously, as a team and as a squad, we want to keep on improving. The way we’ve started the league we’ve had a few good results, but there’s also results where we could have done a bit better in certain situations.
“The most important thing is we improve on what we’ve got to set a standard. We’ve just got to keep on improving as a squad mentally going into games, making sure we’re right for every single match and not just on selected games.”