Ox hands Wenger injury boost

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was given a fitness boost on Thursday as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made his return from injury.

The 20-year-old midfielder had not played since the opening day of the season because of a knee problem, but featured for the opening 45 minutes for the club's under-21 side against their Fulham counterparts at Motspur Park.

Oxlade-Chamberlain returned to full training earlier this week and Wenger decided to pitch him back into action against Fulham.

The winger is unlikely to be risked for Monday's clash at Aston Villa as Wenger looks to gradually bring him back into the first-team fold.

The former Southampton man's return comes at a timely moment for Wenger, with Theo Walcott having this week been ruled out for the rest of the season.

The return of Oxlade-Chamberlain will also come as a boost to England manager Roy Hodgson with the winger determined to play his way into the squad for this summer's World Cup finals.