Danny Welbeck played an hour of Arsenal's Under-21 encounter with Brighton on Friday afternoon having been out for almost 10 months with a knee injury.
The 25-year-old forward underwent surgery in September for the problem after initially injuring his knee in April - with manager Arsene Wenger unable to react to the news by bringing in another striker as the summer transfer window had just closed.
Welbeck, who moved to Arsenal from Manchester United in the summer of 2014, has therefore not turned out for the first-team this season but continued on his path of recovery by playing 60 minutes of a Barclays Under-21 league clash against the Seagulls at Arsenal's London Colney training base.
Arsenal led 3-0 when Welbeck was replaced by Josh Dasilva but the England international did not manage to get himself on the scoresheet - although he did play for longer than Wenger had anticipated.
Talking about the striker's return ahead of the game, Wenger said he hopes to have Welbeck back in first-team contention in as little as three weeks.
The Frenchman said at his weekly press conference:
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger does not expect Danny Welbeck to be fit enough to be in contention for the FA Cup final, casting doubt over the striker's availability for England duty next month.
The Gunners ended the Premier League campaign with a 4-1 win over West Brom at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, where Theo Walcott netted a hat-trick.
While Walcott strengthened his claim for retaining his place in the starting XI against Aston Villa at Wembley on May 30, and midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's late substitute appearance renewed his hopes of being involved, Wenger confirmed Welbeck's knee problem was likely to rule him out next weekend.
That could put a question mark over whether the striker will be fit for the upcoming international friendly against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin and the Euro 2016 qualifier away to Slovenia.
Asked by Press Association Sport whether he thought the 24-year-old could be fit for the FA Cup final, Wenger said: "Welbeck will be short because he has not practised yet."
A 15-year-old boy arrested after sending an alleged racist tweet aimed at Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck has been cautioned.
The teenager, from Salisbury, Wiltshire was held and questioned on suspicion of racial abuse following the posting of a message on Twitter after Welbeck scored the winner to knock his former club Manchester United out of the FA Cup on March 9.
A Wiltshire Police spokesman said:
Welbeck, who has been capped by England 33 times and scored 13 goals, joined Arsenal last year for £16m following the arrival of new Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal.
The Manchester-born striker spent six seasons at Old Trafford after coming through the club's youth system.
Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck has pulled out of the England squad to face Italy because of a knee injury he suffered in Friday's 4-0 win over Lithuania, the Football Association has announced.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed Danny Welbeck will remain sidelined with a thigh injury for a further two weeks.
The striker hasn't played for the Gunners since the Premier League victory against West Ham at the end of December.
Midfielder Mikel Arteta has been ruled out for three moths with an ankle problem, while defender Mathieu Debuchy is facing a similar spell on the sidelines with a dislocated shoulder.
Roy Hodgson is set to give Andy Carroll his Euro 2012 chance against Sweden tonight, according to the Daily Mail.
Carroll will partner Danny Welbeck upfront as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drops to the bench.