Arsene Wenger has confirmed Jack Wilshere is on track to return, but Arsenal fans are unlikely to see him until October.
The midfielder missed the whole of last season after damaging an ankle during the summer of 2011, with his progress halted by a series of setbacks.
There was hope that he would return to aid England at Euro 2012, but that proved a false dawn and it will be the autumn before he will be back to boost an Arsenal side who were beaten by champions Manchester City in a friendly this week and are reeling from the possible departure of captain Robin van Persie.
"Hopefully, we will get Wilshere back playing for October, Wenger said. "With Abou Diaby returning, it will be like signing two new players. This season, the squad will be strong and competitive."
Wilshere underwent a procedure on his knee in May, which was connected to his longstanding ankle problem, but he is now seemingly on the road to recovery after starting gym work and with light training pencilled in for next month.