Mohamed Elneny’s recovery from injury is going much better than expected, and the Egyptian could return for Atletico Madrid on Thursday, according to his PR manager.

Omar Sobhy wrote on Twitter that Elneny is “fighting time” to return for Atletico. Sobhy says the 25-year-old knows his team needs him, and “his recovery is going faster than expected and it’s very close”.

The player himself retweeted the update, showing that he approves of the message. It’s great news ahead of Arsenal’s season run in. After all, Elneny was the star as the Gunners dragged themselves through the second-leg of the Europa League quarter-final. Perhaps he can help them do the same in the semis.

If there’s one area Arsenal can’t really afford injuries, it’s in central midfield. Santi Cazorla is still out, meaning there are only four senior players available even before Elneny’s injury.

Given the team play three central midfielders, the only way they can rest Wilshere, Ramsey or Xhaka at the moment is by bringing in youth players or gambling on Iwobi out of position. Either that or changing formation.

For the sake of the next few games, let’s hope Sobhy is right. For the Egypt fans who worried the injury could drag on longer than expected, it looks like you can breathe a sigh of relief.