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Arsenal's Eduardo 'can cope with return to St Andrew's'

Eduardo could play at St Andrew's on Saturday

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has backed striker Eduardo to cope with a first trip back to St Andrew's, where he suffered a horrific injury in 2008.

Eduardo is expected to be in the Gunners' squad for Saturday's Premier League clash against Birmingham.

The 27-year-old broke his leg and ankle in a challenge with Birmingham's Martin Taylor and was out for a year.

Wenger said: "Emotionally it is a weight on his mind. But Eduardo has a lot of mental strength."

Eduardo has made a successful return from the career-threatening injury, making 30 appearances for Arsenal this season, but this will be his first game back at the stadium where he was carried off on a stretcher.

It was an incident that was brought sharply back to the memories of Arsenal fans and players in February when Gunners midfielder Aaron Ramsey broke his leg at Stoke.


Eduardo made it back to action within a year of his leg break and marked his return with a brace in an FA Cup tie with Cardiff.

Wenger said the ability to deal with setbacks was part and parcel of a footballer's life.

"It's part of a career to show that you have the mental strength to deal with this kind of situation," he said.

"Overall we want as well for him to go back and just win our game - it's the only way you can deal with that situation."

Wenger on the title race

But Eduardo will not have to face Taylor again, with the defender having left the club in January to join Championship side Watford on a free transfer.

As well as having Eduardo in his squad for Saturday, Wenger said that striker Nicklas Bendtner has recovered from an ankle knock and should be fit.

Veteran defender Sol Campbell should be ready for the game but William Gallas (calf) will not play against Barcelona next week even though he has returned to training.

Robin van Persie, out since the end of 2009 with an ankle ligament injury, has returned to training and is looking on target for a return before the end of the season.

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see also
Watford sign Birmingham's Taylor
29 Jan 10 |  Watford
Ramsey has surgery on broken leg
28 Feb 10 |  Arsenal
Eduardo signs new deal at Arsenal
18 Nov 09 |  Arsenal
Eduardo suffers new injury blow
19 Feb 09 |  Arsenal
Eduardo delight at dream comeback
17 Feb 09 |  Arsenal
Eduardo close to Arsenal comeback
23 Oct 08 |  Arsenal
Wenger retracts Taylor criticism
24 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Birmingham 2-2 Arsenal
23 Feb 08 |  Premier League

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