Mikel Arteta is hopeful Jurrien Timber will play again this season, but Sunday’s north London derby may come too soon.

Timber has been out of action since August after suffering a serious knee injury in the opening Premier League game of the campaign.

The defender has progressed well with his recovery and on Monday night he is due to make his comeback by playing for Arsenal’s Under-21s at Blackburn.

Arteta is hopeful Timber will then get to play for the first-team before the season ends, with Arsenal having five games to go.

One of those is at Tottenham on Sunday, and asked if Timber could play against Arsenal’s local rivals, Arteta remarked: “That’s a quick step!

“Let’s see how he feels today. He has been training really good, he looks ready.

“He needs that exposure and after that we will assess whether that game comes at the right time or too fast. We will try to get him with us for the final games.”

Timber will be itching to get back in action as there is a chance he could make the Netherlands squad for this summer’s Euros.

The defender was a regular for the Dutch before his injury and would be close to their first XI when fully fit.

“At the moment it looks really far because he hasn’t played any football,” said Arteta on the chances of Timber playing at the Euros.

“Let’s see how he goes tonight and see if he can contribute in any way in our season. Then we will see what happens in the summer.”