Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hopeful that injury-jinxed midfielder Tomas Rosicky could be back in first-team contention in a couple of months.
The 28-year-old Czech Republic international has not featured for the Gunners for almost exactly a year, having been plagued a by a hamstring problem which refused to go away.
Wenger told the club's official website: "If all goes well he'll be back in eight weeks, but that assumes he survives as we increase the intensity of training.
"So far Tomas has been exceptional frankly - exceptionally strong, exceptionally patient, exceptionally resilient.
"The most difficult thing in sport is when you have an injury and you try to practice very hard to come back and it doesn't work, so you have to rest and start again. That's the most difficult thing.
"But he is a brilliant guy, Tomas Rosicky. We miss him highly."
Rosicky joined the Gunners in the summer of 2006 from German outfit Borussia Dortmund and he has scored 13 goals in 61 appearances for the north London club.