Arsenal star Bacary Sagna returned to action on Monday
Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna expressed his delight after making his playing return from injury on Monday.
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @skygraemebailey
Last Updated: 10/10/12 10:25pm
The France international played for Arsenal's Under 21s on Monday against Reading, which was his first action since breaking his leg five months ago - the second time he had suffered the same injury inside a year.
Sagna played just over an hour and he was understandably delighted to be back in action.
"It is amazing to be back, I have been waiting for this moment for five months," Sagna told the club's official website.
"This was my target: to come back and play, firstly for the Under 21 team. Everything went well and we won, so I am very happy.
"I have been working really hard. I spent some time in the rehab centre, then I came back and worked really hard with the fitness coach and the physios to be ready to play - and finally I have.
"When you have such a big injury once, you take it, but twice is hard. In my mind I was a bit sad, but the next day I was ready for the challenge, which was to come back stronger and I am in a good way today."
Sagna is yet to finalise a date for his return to first-team action, adding: "I don't have any target - my only aim is to be ready and bring what I can to my team, to give 100 per cent like always."
Most of Arsene Wenger's first-team squad will be away on international duty this week, although defender Kieran Gibbs pulled out of the England squad after suffering a minor thigh problem in the win at West Ham.
Right-back Carl Jenkinson has proved an able deputy in Sagna's absence, so much so he was close to a call-up by England manager Roy Hodgson for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.
Sagna has been impressed by the rapid development of the 20-year-old, signed from Charlton in June 2011.
"He has been really good, and has learned a lot," Sagna said.
"He is a bit more confident with the ball, and is very solid as a defender.
"He brings a lot to the team, and I am very happy for him because he is a hard worker, a very good guy and is going to be one of the best."
Arsenal recovered from the disappointment of a home defeat by Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea to go into the international break on the back of a battling 3-1 win at West Ham which leaves them in touch with the chasing pack.
Sagna, who has yet to agree a contract extension, feels the Gunners can mount a sustained challenge.
He said: "We have been solid. I think we can win the league - we have to take it step by step, but we have the quality necessary to play until the end of the season and win."