ARSENAL target Julian Draxler is expected to a return from injury sooner than previously expected.
The 20-year-old has been out with a ruptured ankle tendon since December, and it was thought he could be out for as long as another two months.
But the Germany team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt has told the Schalke player that he can return to action in a week.
Draxler is recovering from a ruptured tendon, which it was feared would keep him out until March. The Gunners are said to be in advanced talks to sign the German. Sources in Germany claim that a £36million fee between Arsenal and Schalke has been provisionally agreed for Draxler
Arsenal's foreboding February fixture list has been made all the more tougher by their depleted midfield options, although Mikel Arteta remains confident of staying on the right track.
If the inability to keep up the pressure on Manchester City and Chelsea was not frustrating enough, Arsene Wenger's midfield options narrowed in the 2-2 at Southampton after Mathieu Flamini incurred a four-match ban for a straight red card. The Frenchman is joined on the sidelines by Aaron Ramsey, who Wenger revealed suffered a setback in his recovery from injury on Monday, and potentially Jack Wilshere, depending on his recovery from an ankle problem.
It is hardly the ideal scenario for the title challengers but Arteta, himself only just back from a calf injury, has vowed that the team will fight through.
"That happens and we have to deal with it," the Spaniard said. "We have some really tough games coming up in the next two weeks and we have to deal with it and do our best."