By 90Min
April 22, 2018

Arsenal have been given a huge boost ahead of their UEFA Europa League tie with Atletico Madrid as Henrikh Mkhitaryan steps up his recovery from injury.

Standard Sport has reported that Mkhitaryan is approaching a return to full fitness. The Armenian spent Saturday training alone and although no specific timescale for his return has been set, it is thought that Mkhitaryan has a realistic hope of returning in time for Arsenal's first leg tie against Atleti. 

Dan Istitene/GettyImages

Speaking ahead of Sunday's Premier League fixture with West Ham, Wenger confirmed that although Sunday's clash had come too soon for Mkhitaryan, Thursday's first leg fixture at the Emirates Stadium would be the earliest the playmaker would be available.

Arsenal's medical team will continue to keep a close eye on Mkhitaryan's recovery as the Gunners prepare for their most important game of the season.

IAN KINGTON/GettyImages

The January arrival picked up the knee injury in Arsenal's Europa League quarter-final second leg against CSKA Moscow, it was originally feared that Mkhitaryan could miss the remainder of the season and news of his speedy recovery will come as a major boost for Wenger's team.

The 29-year-old has been influential in Arsenal's Europa League run since singing from Manchester United in January, scoring 1 goal and assisting 2 in his 5 appearances.

Julian Finney/GettyImages

Mkhitaryan will be aiming for back-to-back Europa League titles having won the previous edition with United - Mourinho's team were 2-0 victors over Ajax - a game in which the attacking midfielder scored the clincher.

As the Gunners prepare to bid farewell to their long-serving manager, winning the Europa League presents Wenger's last chance at winning silverware before he departs at the end of the campaign.

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