Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in training.

The Ox has been sidelined since the landmark win over Manchester City with a groin injury, and Arsenal fans have been eagerly awaiting the return of the smiley midfielder. It seems they may not have much longer to wait, with the news that Alex returned to first team training today.

Speaking to, Arsene confirmed that the young man is nearly back.

He said:

“He is close. He will join in normal training today.”

Typically Arsene likes to give those returning from injury a little while to get back to full match fitness and rediscover their sharpness, so we are unlikely to see the England youngster this weekend, but it is positive news indeed that his return cannot be far away.

While the Ox’s time on the sidelines has been somewhat softened by the return of fellow Southampton trainee Theo Walcott, the mischievous attacker’s versatility to play in central midfield as well as in the wider positions will be a welcome addition to the squad.

Alex has spoken of his pleasure at his own development and the number of games he has clocked up already this season. The way he’s been playing he’ll get quite a few more once he is back fully match fit.

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Helen is a season ticket holder with a desperate addiction to both chocolate and the Arsenal. It's really just a question of which kills her first! Since making the (near) fatal mistake of setting up home with a Tottenham season ticket holder, life has become much more complicated. She finds solace by writing for Daily Cannon and cleansing herself of all traces of Spurs on Twitter @nellypop13.