Arsenal: Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud provide injury boosts

Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud
Theo Walcott (left) and Olivier Giroud scored 28 goals between them for Arsenal last season

Arsenal's injury problems are easing as winger Theo Walcott has returned to training, while striker Olivier Giroud is "ahead of schedule" in his recovery.

England international Walcott, 25, ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Arsenal's 2-0 FA Cup win against Tottenham in January.

Giroud, 28, has not played since August after suffering a broken leg in the 2-2 Premier League draw against Everton.

"Giroud is recovering very well," manager Arsene Wenger told beIN Sports.external-link

The French forward was originally expected to be out until 2015, but the Gunners' boss is hopeful he will be back in action earlier than that.

"The operation went perfectly. I believe he is ahead of schedule in terms of rehabilitation," added Wenger.

German forward Serge Gnabry also returned to training on Monday, having been out since March because of a knee problem.

Theo Walcott and Serge Gnabry
Theo Walcott (left) and Serge Gnabry have returned to training with Arsenal after knee injuries

However, the Gunners are still without midfielders Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta and defender Mathieu Debuchy.

Giroud, who joined the Gunners from Montpellier in 2012 and scored 16 goals last season, scored twice in his first four games of this term, including a last-minute equaliser at Goodison Park.

In his absence, the north London club have dropped Premier League points against Leicester, Manchester City and Tottenham and lost their most recent match 2-0 against league-leaders Chelsea.

Danny Welbeck has been signed since Giroud picked up his injury and the former Manchester United forward has scored four times for the club, including a hat-trick against Galatasaray in the Champions League.

Arsenal are eighth in the Premier League and entertain Hull City on Saturday, before travelling to Belgium to play Anderlecht in the Champions League on Wednesday, 22 October.