Eduardo close to returning, says Arsenal

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Eduardo da Silva is nearing a return to Arsenal first-team duty, as confirmed by the club's official Web site Friday afternoon.

It will be a welcome relief for the Gunners who, despite patches of brilliance this season, have put in lethargic performances against teams from whom they should have claimed full points.

Arsenal's style makes it susceptible to conceding goals, so it is up to the strike force to ensure it scores more than it concedes, and both Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor have been guilty of being wasteful in front of goal this season.

Eduardo will provide the red and whites a much needed alternative option during a crucial part of the season -- the Christmas period.

During his Friday press conference, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger confirmed that "Dudu" was "two to three weeks" away from playing competitive football.

Tomas Rosicky underwent revision surgery in Germany recently and Wenger added that the operation went well.

"As for Tomas, the surgery went very well," Wenger said. "He should be back with us in six to eight weeks but that doesn't mean that he will play in six to eight weeks. He will then start training so I think a reasonable delay is to say that he might be back at the beginning of next year."

Arsenal hosts Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. Nicklas Bendtner is expected to play a lone striker role in place of injured Adebayor and suspended van Persie.