Shattering blow: Coquelin could be out for six months with knee ligament damage

By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes 

Francis Coquelin is ahead of schedule in his recovery from knee ligament damage, Arsene Wenger revealed on Thursday.

The midfield anchorman will return to full training on Thursday as he steps up his recovery from the injury that has sidelined him since November.

Danny Welbeck is also making good progress from the knee injury that has wrecked his entire season.

Speaking at his media conference on Thursday morning, Wenger gave an update on the duo.

“Coquelin’s back in full training today, ahead of schedule. Welbeck will be in full training next week,” explained the Arsenal manager.

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Football Insider revealed last week that long-term absentees Welbeck, Coquelin and Jack Wilshere had all begun doing light outdoor work with fitness coach Tony Colbert.

The were undertaking jogging sessions under the eye of Colbert as well as doing intensive rehabilitation work in the gym at the club’s London Colney training headquarters.

Despite Wenger’s positive update, it will be some time before Welbeck and Wilshere are given the green light by Arsene Wenger and his staff to return to full training with the rest of the squad.

Wenger has said he is hopeful that the England duo, who have both been sidelined for the entire season with shin and knee injuries respectively, will return to the team by the end of February.