The Gunners midfielder has been out of action for 14 months after struggling to recover from knee and ankle injuries but played 90 minutes on Monday afternoon.
The 20-year-old has been out of action for 14 months after struggling to recover from ankle and knee injuries. However, his presence as an unused substitute for the Gunners' loss at Norwich City on Saturday coupled with his recent appearances for his club's youth side are signs that he is not far from making a return to first team action.
But, as Arsenal enters a period of six games in 17 days, Arsene Wenger insists that the England star must not be pushed too far too soon.
"We have to be conscious he has not played for 14 months. I would have brought him on if the game had allowed it on Saturday but it was too intense," he told the club's official website. "There are two aspects [to the recovery]. One is the apprehension to go into challenges when you have too many injuries. On that front he is at 100 percent.
"We even have to calm him down. He goes for every challenge and has no apprehension. Then you have the physical front. He is okay there. Then you have the match fitness, that is 80 percent. He needs one more game."
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