Arsenal left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko is back in full training ahead of the season opener against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
The 26-year-old did make a brief cameo in the Game 4 Ukraine charity match last Saturday so there were signs that he was nearing a comeback.
Fans on X are delighted to see one of the Gunners’ key players from last campaign back available in time for the first Premier League fixture:
— Ebuka (@bukaxfx) August 10, 2023
Good times ahead
— Rambo (@emaRAMSEY16) August 10, 2023
Regardless, Timber will start in that position on Saturday
— Monk(Apari Onirun lori) (@Ze_MonkSUN) August 10, 2023
Headache for Arteta
— MakinZ😋 (@isaackomahbaba) August 10, 2023
He’s still around a week to be fully match fit, so I would let be on the bench and let him get 10 mins on Saturday
— Madara_Son (@AyoDonMillion16) August 10, 2023
— Azraf_afc14 (@Afc14Azraf) August 10, 2023
He should be on the bench for now, no need rushing him back, let’s keep going with timber for now 👌
— Adeyemi Olusegun Emmanuel (@Adeyemi9A) August 10, 2023
Zinchenko may not be fit enough to start
It should be pointed out that Zinchenko did not play a full part in pre-season due to the muscular injury he sustained.
For that reason, you would expect that the Ukrainian international will be on the bench for this weekend’s match against Forest, with Jurrien Timber keeping his place on the left-hand side of defence.
Arsenal still have five other players on the treatment table
You would have thought that, as the club are heading into a new season, the squad would have a clean bill of health but that is far from being the case.
Gabriel Jesus had to undergo a minor knee operation that will keep him out for a few weeks, while Folarin Balogun is still struggling with a foot injury.
Jorginho (muscular), Reiss Nelson (toe), Albert Sambi Lokonga (muscular) and Mohamed Elneny (knee) also remain out of contention.