Arsenal may be enduring an early Halloween scare with Mesut Ozil and Laurent Koscielny their latest injury victims, but there are two reasons for the Gunners to be upbeat.

Pacey duo Theo Walcott and Serge Gnabry completed their return to action today after spending lengthy spells on the sidelines.

Walcott was last seen being stretched off in Arsenal’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Tottenham in January before going on to miss almost a year of football through a knee ligament damage.

But the 25-year-old returned to training with the Gunners’ first team on Monday and Arsenal’s under 21 team’s fixture against Blackburn did some help to his match fitness on Friday.

The Arsenal forward featured for 45 minutes during the affair at Meadow Park before being withdrawn by a delighted Arsene Wenger by half-time.

Serge Gnabry had been nursing his own knee problem for the past six months but the German youngster was up and running again on Friday night, lasting for over 60 minutes.

The match, which also featured the injury-prone Abou Diaby, resulted in a 0-0 draw.

“Theo is not too far away now,” Wenger said. “Serge has been out for a long, long time and Theo has also been out for nine months, so it’s good to see them back.

“They’ve worked very hard and they’re very dedicated. They are back in the group on a daily basis and that’s very good news.”

However, the duo will not be available for Arsenal in their Premier League endeavours this weekend.

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