Danny Welbeck still not training properly after second knee injury, admits Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

James Benge
Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsene Wenger has admitted he is holding Danny Welbeck back in training as the Arsenal forward bids to overcome a second serious knee injury.

Welbeck returned to the Arsenal squad in January after spending eight months on the sidelines following surgery to repair cartilage damage to his right knee.

That injury had come mere months after Welbeck’s return from a major injury to his left knee, suffered weeks before the end of the 2014-15 season.

The England international had made an explosive return to Wenger’s side on that occasion, establishing himself as Arsenal first-choice centre forward, but has found himself confined to the bench more regularly on his second comeback attempt, starting just six games.

Wenger had vowed not to rush Welbeck back on this occasion and revealed before Sunday’s visit to Tottenham that the 26-year-old was still not training properly.

“Recently he has not practised a lot because he had a pain in his toe and needed to be stopped from training,” he said.

“I don't play him at the moment regularly because he's not fully consistently present in training. Yes, certainly (it is frustrating).”

Welbeck will still be in consideration for the trip to Tottenham this afternoon, the final North London Derby that will be played at White Hart Lane.

The game comes with Arsenal’s form somewhat on the rise after a disastrous run in February and March.

Three games have brought three wins and with them Arsenal have rediscovered the knack for late goals that brought them so many points in the early months of the season, Nacho Monreal’s deflected strike off Robert Huth bringing the Gunners three vital points against Leicester in midweek.

“I think it's quite special,” Wenger said. “You look at the numbers, we are the team that has scored more goals than anybody else in the final part of games. We have the highest number, by far, to have scored in the final 10 minutes of games, more than anybody else in this league.

“The players who came on contributed more than in any other team. It's true that for a while, the first Bayern game and Chelsea game was a big knock. For a while we [were a] bit like a boxer who got put on the floor twice.

“We lost a little bit and people interpreted that as them not caring. No. Maybe it's because they care very much that we were like that - shocked. We were shocked.

“The turning point is that you have to revolt and say 'Come on, that cannot go on’. The players have a good mentality. I love the attitude of this team.”

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