Laurent Koscielny is back and way ahead of schedule, according to videos of the defender in training.
The Frenchman suffered a horrific achilles injury in April that put paid to not only his season, but his World Cup dream too.
The severity of the injury was set to rule out Koscielny until December, but the video of our captain sees him running and kicking the ball at a fair pace.
This stage of his recovery was predicted to be in November, and it appears that he is closing in on a return to first team training in a matter of weeks.
A return to training of course doesn’t mean a swift return to competitive football however, and returning to match sharpness will take more time, but the ability to call upon probably our best defender over the last decade will be a fillip to our sometimes beleaguered backline.
Koscielny will most likely end up partnering Sokratis in our first choice defence, with Mustafi missing out, and the cool head of Koscielny will add to our defensive merits, so the sight of him returning to physical activity on the training pitch is a big plus.
Koscielny has yet to play under Emery and his new methods, and after seven years of WengerBall, can our skipper adapt quickly?
We know Koscielny is no liability with the ball, but to play the ball out from the back will take some time to finely tune his game. Will this play into the hands of Mustafi? The German will have played the majority of time under Emery and will be - or should be - fully up to speed with the new tactics. Koscielny will have to take some time to be able to fully give his best, and this may see some heavy rotation at the back.
We will be far better off with him in our side than without him. He may be nearing the end of his career, but he’s still got plenty in the tank, and the news of his surprise training should spread some more optimism around the fanbase.