Back in January, Arsenal’s defense was thrown into even more disarray than its standard daily dose of disarray, when Hector Bellerin ruptured his ACL in a match against Chelsea. The recovery period for this type of injury is generally close to a year, depending on the person; it’s not an insignificant injury, and recovery is a long, slow process.
While injury recoveries are not linear, and can vary widely from person to person, one truism of any recovery period is that the younger you are, the faster and better you recover. This would certainly seem to be a factor in the news we heard today:
Bellerín has made quick progress at the start of his rehabilitation, has healed well after the operation & there were no infections, remaining ahead of the curve so much so that he has earmarked the home game against Aston Villa on September 22nd for his comeback. [@DaveHytner] pic.twitter.com/lexZrgJaZy— afcstuff (@afcstuff) July 9, 2019
Instead of a year, it looks like he’s thinking late September is when he’ll be back playing for Arsenal, which is fantastic news. Arsenal need all the help they can get at the back, and while the whole LANS thing is, like many Arsenal narratives, overplayed, under-truthed, and a bit ridiculous, I can’t help but feel that the return of quite possibly Arsenal’s best current defender will help the club shore up the worst defense in the top six.
I don’t think Bellerin will singlehandedly fix Arsenal’s defense - there’s too many problems at the back for that to be realistic. But having Hector back definitely falls into the ‘every little bit helps’ camp, and if he can stay healthy, will be one of the key building blocks as Arsenal embark on another season of Thursday/Sunday football.