Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed that the English-born Ghanaian striker is still on the long road to recovery.

Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah is still several weeks away from recovering from an ankle injury he picked up earlier this month, says boss Mikel Arteta.

The 23-year-old scored six goals in 12 games before he was sidelined with the injury.

"It was a nasty injury and he has a big challenge ahead of him," said Arteta.

But Gabriel Jesus' return is a welcome boost as the Gunners prepare for a Europa League last-16 second leg against Sporting Lisbon on Thursday.

Brazil forward Jesus returned as a substitute in Sunday's 3-0 win over Fulham, coming on in the 77th minute, after a spell out with a knee injury sustained at the World Cup.

And he could make his first Arsenal start since November against Sporting.

"It was great to see him back. You can feel the happiness of everyone," Arteta said.

"We missed him and now he's back. We have to manage his minutes, his involvement in the squad and the team.

"He's feeling good and every day he's training he says his sensations are better and better, so that's really positive," he added.

The attacking impetus at Fulham was provided by Gabriel Martinelli, who scored the second goal, and fellow forward Leandro Trossard, who recorded a hat-trick of assists for a side who are five points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Nketiah had deputised for the former Manchester City striker until limping off during a 4-0 win over Everton on 1 March, and is unlikely to be back in action until the final days of the season.

"He's getting better," Arteta said. "He's still in the [protective] boot. He's still a few weeks away and we need to be patient.

"Thank God, it could have been worse. So he's not in a bad place."