Walcott close to Arsenal comeback
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By Liam Twomey
Theo Walcott is in contention to make his first Arsenal appearance for nine months in Friday's Under-21 Premier League clash with Blackburn, according to Goal.
Walcott has not featured for the Gunners since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in January's 2-0 FA Cup win over Tottenham, and also missed England's disappointing World Cup campaign in Brazil with the injury.
But the 25-year-old returned to first-team training on Monday and, barring any setbacks, could be included in Arsenal's Under-21 squad to take on Rovers at Boreham Wood on Friday evening.
Serge Gnabry may also feature for the Gunners, having participated in Monday's session as he continues his recovery from a knee injury which has sidelined him for the start of the season.
A further boost for Arsene Wenger comes with the news that club captain Mikel Arteta is back in training after missing matches against Galatasaray and Chelsea with a calf injury, while Aaron Ramsey's recovery from a hamstring problem is also progressing well.
Neither, however, are in contention for Saturday's Premier League clash with Hull City and Wenger remains cautious on the status of Mesut Ozil, who sustained a knee injury while on international duty with Germany and is not expected to return until 2015.