By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes

Santi Cazorla has been pictured taking part in training as he closes in on a comeback ahead of schedule.

The Arsenal talisman has been sidelined with knee ligament damage since the end of November and was ruled out for three to four months.

But, like his colleague Francis Coquelin, Cazorla is ahead of schedule in his recovery as hopes grow at Arsenal that he can return to the first team in February.

The Spanish playmaker was pictured in training on Thursday, although Arsene Wenger told the club’s website in the afternoon that the fans’ favourite is still a few weeks away from playing again.

Asked for a team news update ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round clash against Burnley, Wenger said: “[Per] Mertesacker is out because of the red card, and everybody else is available, apart from Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla. After that it is just a question of selection and decision-making, that is the key.

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“Jack and Santi are progressing well but they are at least a few weeks away. But these two apart, it is just about competitiveness and match fitness.”

Cazorla has missed Arsenal’s last 11 matches after suffering a knee injury in their 1-1 draw at Norwich on 29 November.

In other Arsenal injury news, Danny Welbeck’s comeback has been put on hold as he is not considered ready to feature as an over-age player for the Under-21s against Stoke on Saturday.