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Eduardo ready for Arsenal return

Arsenal striker Eduardo
Eduardo in action against Portsmouth's reserves in December

Eduardo says he is ready to return to Arsenal's first team after playing the full 90 minutes for the club's reserves against Stoke on Wednesday.

It was the first time the 25-year-old striker had completed a match since he suffered a career-threatening injury against Birmingham last February.

The Croatian told Arsenal's website: "In my head and everything I am ready. I feel much stronger. I am happy now.

"I think I am ready for the first team but you would have to ask the boss."

There had been fears for Eduardo's career when he suffered a fractured left fibula and an open dislocation of his left ankle after a tackle by Martin Taylor during the 2-2 draw at St Andrew's on 23 February.

The striker, who had surgery on the same day, missed the remainder of the season and Euro 2008 but has been undergoing an intensive rehabilitation programme that included spells in his native Brazil.

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He returned to action in a reserve game against Portsmouth in December, but had not played for 90 minutes until Wednesday's 2-2 draw against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.

"It has been a long time since I've played 90 minutes and now I feel better knowing that I can play a whole game," he added.

"The plan against Portsmouth reserves was to play an hour but we decided with the small injury that I should go off because of the risk in continuing the game. But I am happy now, I played 45 minutes of that game which was good for my confidence.

"I feel very well and I'm training hard every day. Of course I want to come back quick and strong. Now, every game for me is a big step.

"I am happy with the 90 minutes on a very hard pitch with all the hard rain. I needed time in the reserves to get my match fitness back.

"But playing my first game for the first team, I am ready now and I am just waiting for my chance."

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see also
Eduardo makes return from injury
16 Dec 08 |  Arsenal
Eduardo intent on swift recovery
24 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Eduardo uncertain of return date
06 Mar 08 |  Arsenal
Rosicky and Diaby to miss run-in
25 Apr 08 |  Arsenal
Birmingham 2-2 Arsenal
23 Feb 08 |  Premier League


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