Belfast Telegraph

Ozil 'out for another seven weeks'

Arsenal are understood to be comfortable with the progress of Mesut Ozil's rehabilitation after the midfielder told reporters in Germany he is not expecting to be back in action for another seven weeks.

The Gunners' club-record signing suffered a partial rupture of the outer band of the left knee joint, which was confirmed by the German Football Federation after Ozil reported for international duty following Arsenal's 2-0 defeat at Chelsea on October 5.

According to the DFB at the time, Ozil would be out for "10 to 12 weeks".

Arsenal subsequently released their own statement insisting no time frame had yet been set for the recovery, which added "(manager Arsene) Wenger knows he will be without Ozil for at least two months".

Ozil was attending the Laureus Media Prize ceremony in Berlin on Wednesday, where he received an award after paying for 23 Brazilian children to have life-saving surgery, and confirmed his return was not expected until mid-January.

"I have already been out for five weeks and will be out for another seven weeks," Ozil said.

"That is a really long time, but that is the way it is in football sometimes. My head is held high and we look forward."

Arsenal have taken on board the information provided by the DFB, but have also conducted their own investigation, with Wenger stressing at the time of Ozil's injury they would have to be patient.

"We have our own specialist giving us his opinion after reading the scan and examining Mesut. We will follow our own recommendations," he said.

Press Association Sport understands Arsenal remain confident Ozil's recover is on schedule, with the plan always for a return early in 2015.

Despite the form of summer signing Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal have struggled for consistency this season, slipping to a 2-1 defeat at Swansea on Sunday which left them sixth in the Barclays Premier League - once again having failed to hold on to a lead after being unable to press home their 3-0 advantage in the Champions League tie against Anderlecht.

Even though Arsenal will continue to be without Ozil as they prepare for the hectic festive schedule, there is positive news on the recovery of Olivier Giroud, who is on course to return earlier than expected.

The France international suffered a fracture to his left tibia during the 2-2 draw at Everton on August 23 and quickly under went surgery.

Giroud has now stepped up his rehabilitation and was pictured on the club website going through training drills with a football at their Hertfordshire base.

Centre-back Laurent Koscielny, meanwhile, has been receiving treatment on his his troublesome Achilles, but it remains to be seen whether he will be fully match fit for the visit of Manchester United after the international break.

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