Van Persie set for shock return against Spurs
Published 22:45 08/04/10 By Mike Walters
Robin Van Persie is in line for a dramatic return to Arsenal's title push - in the hotbed of a north London derby.
Long-term crock Van Persie, 26, has been out for six months since he suffered a serious ankle injury playing for Holland in a friendly against Italy.
But after a disastrous week in which the Gunners were routed by Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi's four-goal exhibition in the Champions League, the Dutch striker's return to full training is a timely boost for manager Arsene Wenger.
Last night Arsenal physio Colin Lewin revealed: "Robin will be joining the squad for full training imminently. That is a big boost for everyone at the club."
Wenger is tempted to throw Van Persie into the fever pitch of a White Hart Lane derby against Tottenham next Wednesday, possibly from the bench, as he tries to rescue the Gunners from the prospect of a fifth season without a trophy.
Reeling from injuries to key men Cesc Fabregas, Andrei Arshavin and William Gallas which will rule all three out for the rest of the season, Arsenal crashed out of the Champions League in the Nou Camp on Tuesday night.
But they still have an outside chance of pipping Chelsea and Manchester United to the title, and the return of Van Persie - who had scored eight goals in 16 games until his injury - could be their trump card.
The short trip up the Seven Sisters Road to face Spurs could make or break their run-in, and there was another double boost for Wenger yesterday as defenders Kieran Gibbs and Johan Djourou were cleared for a return to full training.
Lewin told the club website: "Johan had a difficult time with the cartilage in his knee, but he has made virtually a full recovery and he will train with the squad in the next fortnight, as will Kieran. They have both recovered from career-threatening injuries."
Skipper Fabregas, who suffered a hairline crack in the Champions League first leg against Barcelona, is on course to be fit for Spain's World Cup campaign.
And Aaron Ramsey is expected to return in "early autumn" from the horror of his double broken leg at Stoke in February.