Olivier Giroud will recover from a hamstring injury by mid-January, according to Arsene Wenger.

Giroud damaged his hamstring during the 1-0 win over West Ham in the Carabao Cup quarter-final. There were fears that the striker could be out for up to six weeks.

However, it seems he could be back sooner than expected. During his pre-Crystal Palace press conference, Wenger says he expects the Frenchman to return by January 15th.

The news is a welcome boost as Arsenal have a very busy January schedule to get through. Given the packed nature of the fixtures, Giroud will still be unavailable for six games.

He’ll likely miss the FA Cup third round tie against Nottingham Forest and the first leg of our Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea. In addition, we play Crystal Palace, West Brom, Chelsea and Bournemouth in the Premier League.

Giroud has not been the first-choice striker this season, but he has been Wenger’s go-to substitution. The Frenchman has started just once in the Premier League, but has 14 appearances off the bench.

Signed from Montpellier for £12m back in 2012, the 31-year-old centre-forward has appeared 24 times in all competitions this season, scoring seven goals.