Arsenal may have provided clearest Jurrien Timber injury return hint yet amid Man City hope

By Staff

Jurrien Timber’s workload is being managed carefully as the Arsenal defender nears a return from a serious knee injury sustained at the start of the season.

The 22-year-old joined the Gunners from Ajax in the summer with Mikel Arteta hoping the Dutchman could offer versatility across the backline. However, the Dutchman ruptured his ACL on his Premier League debut against Nottingham Forest and had to undergo surgery.

It’s been a long road to recovery since, although Timber is progressing well and has been involved in training sessions where he is slowly beginning to get involved with the group again. Understandably Arsenal are keen to manage his reintegration carefully. In sessions where it is felt that undue stress may be placed on his knee, Timber sits out. In others though, he is now fully involved.

Despite optimism among fans that Timber could soon make his comeback, the defender did not feature in the behind closed doors friendly against QPR on Thursday. The Gunners were beaten 4-0 by the Championship outfit at the TSG Elite Training & Performance Centre, although the Arsenal side contained largely under-21 players. The only first team players involved in the match were Takehiro Tomiyasu and Thomas Partey.

Tomiyasu, who has been nursing a calf problem, played 45 minutes while Partey, who has suffered a spate of muscle injuries throughout the season, played just over an hour. It was a good run out for the pair, who will now be looking forward to March 31 and the top of the table clash against Manchester City.

READ MORE: Inside Jurrien Timber’s injury return as Arsenal defender poised for impact during run-in

READ MORE: Arsenal vs QPR behind closed doors friendly score and lineup as Mikel Arteta gets Man City boost

The fact Timber played no part in the friendly perhaps gives us an indication as to where he is at fitness wise. While it cannot be said for certain if the defender will be named in the squad to travel to Etihad Stadium, the fact he was not given any minutes on Thursday indicates that the match will come too soon.

To be clear this is not a setback, just the friendly came too soon for the defender. understands Timber will be involved at the business end of the season should his recovery continue at the rate it has.

With Arsenal fighting for Premier League and Champions League glory, Timber’s return will give the Gunners a welcome boost. When that is, however, remains to be seen.

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