Arsenal defenders Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are both close to returning to first-team action after featuring for over an hour for Arsenal Under-23s in Friday's meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Bellerin suffered a serious knee injury in January and has not been seen since (except on Instagram) whilst summer signing Tierney is yet to make his debut as he recovers from surgery which he underwent towards the end of last season.
Fortunately, it looks like the pair may be nearing a return after both featured for just over an hour in the 2-2 draw with Wolves. Arsenal opted to withdraw both at the same time, in what was clearly a planned move in their recovery.
Both looked reasonably impressive, although it was Bellerin who looked the closest to full fitness. However, it is expected that both will still need to play reserve football to help build their fitness.
However, they also may be given the chance to prove themselves when the Gunners face Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
After the game, Bellerin told Arsenal's Twitter page: "After eight long months, i'm finally in the red and white, finally on the pitch. It's been a tough period, but we're back. We're back better than ever, and I can't wait to be back at the Emirates."
Arsenal have endured somewhat of an injury crisis in defence this season. Alongside both Bellerin and Tierney, the Gunners have been without Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos.
Manager Unai Emery has confirmed that Holding is also nearing his return to first-team action, but Mavropanos is still expected to miss a few more weeks as he recovers from a groin injury.
"After eight long months, I'm finally in the red and white and on the pitch!"— Arsenal (@Arsenal) September 20, 2019
❤️ @HectorBellerin made his return tonight, playing 62 minutes with #AFCU23 for the @ArsenalAcademy pic.twitter.com/20TFntIqpW
Fans are certainly eager to see Arsenal's defenders return. Their start to the season has been littered with defensive errors which have seen the Gunners drop several points, most notably in the 2-2 draw with Watford.
However, Emery will soon have plenty more options to turn to as he looks to steer Arsenal back on track.