Emile Smith Rowe is targeting a return to action slightly sooner than expected, hoping to be available for Arsenal’s next competitive fixture.
Emile Smith Rowe has been out of action for a while following groin surgery, and previous reports had him down for a return in January.
But speaking to Sky Sports this week, Smith Rowe admitted he’s hoping to be back immediately after the World Cup, and he’s already back out on the pitch as he finishes up his rehabilitation programme.
“Hopefully [I’ll be back in action] by the first game back after the World Cup,” Smith Rowe said (via Arseblog).
“I’m actually out here [in Saudi Arabia] doing rehab. Today was my day off, I’m back training tomorrow. I’m back on the pitch and stuff so it’s going well.
“It’s going really well at the moment, I’m really happy for the team but sometimes it’s annoying when I can’t feel like I’m involved, I can’t be on the pitch with my teammates.
“It’s amazing to see them doing so well and I can’t wait to get back.”
The Evening Standard had reported that Smith Rowe will join Mikel Arteta’s squad when they head off to Dubai for a warm-weather training camp in December, but he won’t be involved in full training immediately.
As it stands, Arsenal are hoping to reintegrate Smith Rowe by the end of that Dubai trip, which concludes on December 14th.
Arsenal have a couple of fixtures over the festive period, playing West Ham United at home on Boxing Day followed by Brighton at the Amex Stadium on New Year’s Eve.
But it’s the games after that where Smith Rowe’s return could really make an impact, with clashes against Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester United in January.
There will also be an FA Cup third-round match to play, and potentially the rearranged league fixture against Everton.
It would be a boost to have Smith Rowe available then, particularly by adding his goalscoring prowess back into the squad.