Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney has made his return to the training pitches ahead of Thursday’s Europa League tie with Benfica.
The left-back has been sorely missed in recent weeks since sustaining a calf injury, which has forced him to sit out the Gunners’ last five Premier League matches.
Cedric Soares has done a satisfactory job filling in on the left-hand side, but Tierney has proven himself to be irreplaceable in that role for Mikel Arteta, and the Arsenal boss has now received a huge boost over the defender’s fitness.
Arsenal recently shared a video of the first team preparing for Thursday’s Europa League last-32 first leg with Benfica, and Tierney was seen taking part in a small-sided match – curling a shot into the top corner for good measure.
Whether the 23-year-old will be deemed fit enough to play in midweek remains to be seen, but Arteta confirmed after the win over Leeds United that Tierney has a better chance of returning than fellow absentee Thomas Partey does.
The former Celtic man has scored one goal and assisted two more in the Premier League this term, and Arsenal will be taking on Benfica at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico due to coronavirus restrictions on travel.