Mikel Arteta returns to Arsenal training

Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta is back in full training after recovering from an ankle problem.

The 32-year-old underwent surgery in January to remove a bony spur which had been causing him inflammation and discomfort since November.

His last Premier League appearance came against Manchester United that month but he is now expected to be fully fit at the start of April.

Arteta is out of contract at the end of the season but he is expected to agree a new one-year deal.

Arsene Wenger, who was pictured shaking hands with the former Everton man in training at London Colney on Friday, has confirmed that he wants his skipper to remain at the Emirates.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's game with West Ham, the Frenchman said: 'Normally I would like him to stay on, yes.

'He has a huge experience and is very important in the squad.'

Credit: Joe Strange/SportsMail