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Arsene Wenger has finally been handed some positive injury news after revealing Danny Welbeck could return by the end of the year.
It was feared the England forward could be missing until April after suffering a serious knee injury at the end of last season.
But Wenger, who also confirmed that Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey will not be available until after next month’s international break, said: ‘He had an inflammation of his knee and they had to go in again to see if it is healing well or not.
‘If the healing was not good, he would have been out until April. But the news was excellent and he will be back around Christmas.
‘He had a second check, not a procedure, a check with a camera inside. That was the good news of last week, the only good news. That was very positive.’
Meanwhile, Wenger has spoken for the first time about Jamie Vardy’s decision to snub Arsenal in the summer.
The Leicester striker looked set for a move south after Arsenal tabled a £20million bid only for Vardy to get cold feet at the last minute.
And Wenger said: ‘You have to respect the decisions of people and that’s part of it and I think on every transfer market you have one or two who have decisions to make and you have to respect them.
‘Did he give us a reason? You should ask him that question because I cannot answer for him.”