EXCLUSIVE | By Editor Wayne Veysey
Arsenal fear Danny Welbeck might not play again this season, Football Insider sources understand.
The striker has been pubicly ruled out by the club until at least the New Year after undergoing knee surgery in early September.
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But club medics have not put a date on Welbeck’s comeback and are understood to be concerned about his recovery from a problem that has sidelined him since April.
He is said to be experiencing pain in his knee when he runs at any speed above a light jog or makes simple actions such as turns.
Although it is the early stages of the striker’s rehabilitation, there is concern among Arsenal staff that surgery has not cured the cartilage problem.
Football Insider revealed in early September that the £16million signing from Manchester United had suffered a setback and would be out for months rather than weeks, with four to six months the expected recovery time, after Arsene Wenger had claimed that Welbeck was recovering well from his knee problem suffered last season.
This was confirmed soon afterwards by the club as they delivered an update on Welbeck. “It had been hoped he would avoid surgery but after increasing his training workload, the injury to his cartilage did not respond as well as hoped and the decision was taken last week for him to undergo surgery by a leading specialist in the field,” read the statement. “Danny is now expected to be out for a period of months and everyone at Arsenal wishes him well.”
The England international’s last game was Arsenal’s goal-less draw against Chelsea on 26 April. He had hoped to return before the end of last season, and then targeted a return in pre-season, but he has suffered multiple set-backs.
The Welbeck injury prognosis is a further blow for Wenger after Aaron Ramsey was ruled out for a month with his fourth hamstring injury in a year.