Arsenal have been boosted by the news that captain Laurent Koscielny has not sustained a fresh injury despite being substituted in the EFL Trophy clash with Portsmouth.
The 31-year-old was playing for the Gunners' Under-21 side against Portsmouth at Fratton Park in just his second appearance of the season, but with 10 minutes to go he was seen hobbling off the field.
His substitution led to concerns that he had broken down injured once more, having only just recovered from a six-month injury layoff. Those fears appear to have been eased though, with Sky Sports reporting that Koscielny has been given the all clear.
The Arsenal skipper made his return to football on November 26, when he captained the Under-23s in a 46 minute showing against Derby's youth side. It was certainly an eventful game - the Gunners were 1-0 down when the veteran defender went off, and proceeded to lose 5-0, ending the encounter with nine men.
The match against Portsmouth didn't go entirely to plan either, as the Under-21s lost 2-1, but Koscielny's potential setback will have far more ramifications than the Checkatrade Trophy elimination.
Koscielny has been recovering this season from a ruptured achilles tendon he sustained in his side's Europa League semi final with Atletico Madrid in May, just one month before the World Cup in Russia that his country would go on to win.
Unai Emery has had to rely on the three-man defensive rearguard of summer signing Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Rob Holding and Shkodran Mustafi so far this season, so the news that Koscielny's return has not been curtailed by further injury will provide the Spaniard with a significant boost heading into the festive period.
They will take on Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday night in the Premier League following Sunday's north London derby win, before hosting Huddersfield at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.