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Mikel Arteta provides fresh update on ACL recovery


Mikel Arteta has revealed that Arsenal defender Jurrien Timber is recovering “very fast” from the ACL injury that he suffered on his Premier League debut in August.

Timber joined the Gunners in a deal from Ajax worth an initial £34m, but the Netherlands international was forced off only 50 minutes into the opening game of the campaign.

ACL layoffs can vary massively, but a general estimate is between seven and nine months. With that potential timeframe and Arteta’s positive update, it raises the possibility of Timber getting back on the pitch before the end of the season.

“He is doing very well,” the Gunners boss explained this week.

“Obviously he’s going through a really significant injury but he’s flying to be fair, the stage he is right now. The way he works every single day is incredibly satisfying to watch, but unfortunately we’re going to miss him still for a long time.

Jurrien Timber

Arsenal fans have hardly seen Jurrien Timber in action / Julian Finney/GettyImages

“[His recovery is] very fast. The first few steps are crucial for that injury, for the amount of work they have to do for the knee to be resolved and get some activity and mobility back and start to build the strength. Especially how the head is throughout that period, I think he’s in a really good place.”

Timber was signed with the intention of being Arsenal’s primary right-back. But between his long-term absence and Takehiro Tomiyasu often filling in on the left, it has left Ben White, whose preferred position is in the centre of defence, once against asked to play there for much of the season.

With right-back a position that may therefore need strengthening, Arsenal had a scouting presence at Bayer Leverkusen’s Bundesliga clash with Borussia Dortmund earlier this month to watch Jeremie Frimpong in action. He is expected to move on in 2024 and has a £35m release clause that expires in the summer. But Liverpool also had eyes on the 23-year-old at that game.

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