Mathieu Debuchy delighted to make Arsenal return
Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy is delighted to be off the treatment table and back on the pitch but said it will take time for him to recover his best form.
Debuchy has endured a nightmare first season in North London, having sat out two separate three-month spells through injury.
The France full-back was forced to undergo ankle ligament surgery in September and his comeback was then halted by a shoulder injury that has kept him out since January.
Debuchy returned to the Arsenal starting lineup for Saturday's 2-1 win over Reading in the FA Cup semifinal, though, and he said: "I'm so happy because it's so important to be back on the pitch.
"It was hard for me after my second surgery this year but now it's behind me and I'm so happy to play for Arsenal. It's been difficult for me. Two surgeries in the same season is difficult but now I'm OK and I want to play a lot.
"I want to help the team and I am focused on the end of the season."
Asked if he considers himself to be at 100 percent, he said: "No, I need to work hard again but I hope to be ready and 100 percent soon. I need to play some games. I hope to play for the rest of the season. I need to try again, again and again."
Debuchy insists he harbours no ill-feeling towards Stoke midfielder Marko Arnautovic, who caused the shoulder injury by pushing the Frenchman into advertising hoardings surround the pitch.
He said he is also pleased for fellow Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin, who has enjoyed an excellent run of form in his absence.
"Hector played very well," Debuchy said. "He's a very good player and I'm so happy for him. It's so important that we have two or three players in each position."
The two full-backs will now be vying for a place in Arsene Wenger's starting XI, particularly with an FA Cup final against Aston Villa on the horizon.
The Gunners are one victory away from defending their crown and becoming the most successful FA Cup team of all time, as they currently sit level on 11 titles with Manchester United.
"It was so important to reach the final," Debuchy said. "We did and now we are focused on the final. We want to win the final like last year. It's important for us to keep the trophy and for the club."