Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has revealed he is only a few weeks away from returning to first-team training, having spent seven months out of action with the serious knee injury he sustained in January.
The Spaniard ruptured a cruciate ligament in his left knee during his side's 2-0 Premier League win over Chelsea and has been sidelined ever since, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles filling in as a makeshift right back in his stead.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, as relayed by Sam Dean, the defender revealed he is hoping to return to training with the senior squad later this month, with a return to competitive action likely to be in within two months.
News of Bellerin's return will come as a welcome boost to Arsenal boss Unai Emery, who is without a recognised senior right back at the club following the conclusion of Stephan Lichtsteiner's short-term deal at the Emirates last season and Carl Jenkinson's departure to Nottingham Forest.
Naturally a midfielder, Maitland-Niles has struggled at times to fill the gap left by the former Barcelona academy product, with Bellerin's return likely to free up the 21-year-old to move back into a central role.
Emery's faith in Bellerin was embodied by a lack of transfer activity in his role, with the Gunners' boss instead opting to strengthen on the opposite flank with the imminent arrival of Kieran Tierney, while David Luiz is also due to follow suit in the heart of defence.
The Premier League side have been active during the summer window, bringing in Dani Ceballos, Nicolas Pepe, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba - who subsequently went on loan for the 2019/20 season to former club Saint-Etienne.