Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed he hopes to have injured striker Robin van Persie back ahead of schedule.
The Holland international broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot when scoring the equaliser in last month's 2-1 victory over Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.
But while initial estimates suggested van Persie would be sidelined for up to 14 weeks, Wenger has revealed that the 23-year-old former Feyenoord frontman could be back in action before the end of March.
"At the start we counted large," Wenger told the club's official website.
"We thought 12 to 14 weeks and were hoping for a good surprise. Maybe eight to 10 weeks.
"It was three weeks on Friday so we are counting nine weeks more. But we hope it will be five, six or seven."