Tomas Rosicky feels he could struggle to be fit in time for Arsenal’s pre-season training schedule.
The Czech Republic international, 27, played his last game for the Gunners in the FA Cup tie against Newcastle on January 26 before a knee problem would eventually rule him out for the rest of the season and also Euro 2008.
Arsenal revealed his recovery from a campaign of niggling injuries was going well, but Rosicky believes targeting a return date ahead of the kick-off against Barclays Premier League new boys West Brom on August 16 could be too soon.
“It will be a long time before I return, but at the start of the new season - some time in August – I will hopefully start training,” Rosicky told Czech News Agency CTK.
Although he was not part of the playing squad, Rosicky travelled to Switzerland to be on the Czech bench for their final Euro 2008 group game against Turkey in Basel last night.
A howler from Chelsea keeper Petr Cech let the Turks back into the match in the closing minutes, before captain Nihat Kahveci netted a dramatic late winner to send the Czech Republic crashing out.
“It is always difficult to watch a game from the stand or from the bench,” Rosicky said.
“It is even worse if you throw away such a chance. I have never experienced anything like that.
“Unfortunately, the lads perhaps had it in their minds that they could lose the game, But if we are 2-0 up 15 minutes before the end, we simply have to fight until the end and win.
“The finish was a collapse, as if the guys stopped playing. I am very sad.”
Arsenal still have plenty of interest at Euro 2008.
Captain William Gallas will be hoping to inspire France in their all-or-nothing showdown with Italy in Zurich tomorrow, while Robin van Persie has impressed for a rampant Holland side.
Midfielder Cesc Fabregas, meanwhile, has helped Spain qualify for the quarter-finals and could come up against his Dutch team-mate should both countries progress further.