Arsene Wenger has revealed Theo Walcott may be “ahead of schedule” in his efforts to be fit again for the festive fixtures.

The England international has been sidelined for nearly a month now after suffering a calf injury in the 3-0 League Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.

However, after different rumours about Walcott’s fitness this week – as some suggested he would be ruled out until February – Wenger insists the forward could return earlier than expected.

According to the Arsenal boss, the 26-year-old is the most likely out of all the current long-term injuries to recover first.

“He is doing well, he could be a bit ahead of schedule but still you count a few weeks more while Rosicky, Wilshere, Welbeck will be later.

Arsenal’s long injury list is gradually reducing following the returns of David Ospina, Mikel Arteta and most significantly, Hector Bellerin ahead of the Premier League trip to West Bromwich Albion.

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