Arsenal star Bacary Sagna returned to action on Monday
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @skygraemebailey. Last Updated: October 10, 2012 10:25pm
Bacary Sagna: Has returned to action after breaking leg
Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna expressed his delight after making his playing return from injury on Monday.
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."