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Arsenal and Arteta reluctant to set date for Gabriel Jesus return

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says there's no timeline set on Gabriel Jesus' recovery.

The Premier League leaders suffered a huge blow to their growing title hopes this week ahead of the domestic football restart in late December after their star striker underwent surgery on a problem sustained with Brazil at the World Cup.

While Arsenal sources insisted it was too early to map out a potential recovery timeline for Jesus, there are understood to be fears that he could be sidelined for up to three months.

Such a worst-case scenario could prove devastating to Arsenal's hopes of holding off Manchester City in a fierce title battle in the New Year.

The Gunners' non-World Cup stars stepped up preparation for the league's return on Boxing Day with a first friendly at their warm-weather training camp on Thursday, brushing aside Alexandre Lacazette's Lyon 3-0 in the Dubai Super Cup thanks to goals from Gabriel Magalhaes, Eddie Nketiah and Fabio Vieira.

After that win, which also saw Arsenal pick up a bonus point for winning a post-match penalty shootout, Arteta was inevitably quizzed on if he knew already when Jesus might be able to return.

“No," the Spaniard replied. “We know that he needed some intervention in the knee. We'll have to take it day by day, week by week and see [where] it takes us."

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