Alex Kirk and Mika Biereth returned from long-term injury absences on Saturday to make their first loan appearances for months.

Alex Kirk with Ayr United (Photo via SNS Group)
Alex Kirk with Ayr United (Photo via SNS Group)

Arsenal loanee Alex Kirk made a surprisingly early return to action with Ayr United on Saturday, starting against Hamilton Academical FC.

Kirk had picked up an injury on November 19th, and reports at the time suggested he was set to miss up to three months of football. But just a month and a half later, the defender was back in the starting lineup.

The game went well for the Scottish Championship side, as Kirk helped them to keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 win.

Ayr United sit second in the Championship table, just four points off the top. At the moment, it looks like they’ll at least be involved in the play-offs, if not the fight for automatic promotion.

Over in the Netherlands, Mika Biereth has also been out injured over the winter. The striker suffered a setback a month earlier than Kirk, on October 19th, missing a month of football before the World Cup break began.

RKC Waalwijk played their first Eredivisie match since November on Saturday, and Biereth was in the starting lineup.

It was his first league start of the season, having previously only appeared as a substitute. He also had an injury problem in August, which is part of why he’s been used so sparingly so far.

Mika Biereth (9) celebrates a goal for Waalwijk (Photo via Waalwijk on Twitter)
Mika Biereth (9) celebrates a goal for Waalwijk (Photo via Waalwijk on Twitter)

Though he had a shot on target and created one big chance, Biereth couldn’t make the breakthrough, and Waalwijk drew 0-0 on the day.

The Arsenal striker played 70 minutes, and he’ll hope to build up to a 90-minute match as he returns to full sharpness.

For now, it’s just good to have two of Arsenal’s highly-rated loanees back in action again.