Gabriel Jesus is back! Arsenal striker in line for Europa League return but Kieran Tierney suffers fitness blow
- Arsenal face Sporting on Thursday night
- Jesus has missed Arsenal's last 13 matches in all competitions
- The Brazilian has scored five goals this season
WHAT HAPPENED? The striker has not played for Arsenal since before the World Cup having injured his knee while playing for Brazil in Qatar.
But he has been stepping up his recovery in recent weeks and on Saturday he joined in the post-game warm down with the substitutes after Arsenal's 3-2 win against Bournemouth.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: That was seen as a major step forward for Jesus and on Wednesday he joined in full training with the squad at London Colney ahead of the first leg of their Europa League last-16 clash at Sporting.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Jesus is expected to be on the plane to Lisbon with the travelling squad, which is due to leave London on Wednesday afternoon. It's not yet clear whether he will be included in the actual matchday squad by Mikel Arteta, but just his presence on the plane is another big indication that Jesus' long-awaited return is imminent.
In a blow to Arsenal, however, Kieran Tierney will not be involved on Thursday night. The left-back is not travelling with the squad due to illness. Leandro Trossard (groin) and Eddie Nketiah (ankle) also miss out.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR ARSENAL? Mikel Arteta's side face Sporting Lisbon on Thursday night in the first leg of their Europa League last 16 clash. They will then turn their attention to a London derby clash with Fulham on Sunday.