The "signs look quite good" for Arsenal's injured midfield trio ahead of the crucial Premier League clash with Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Mathieu Flamini (thigh), Cesc Fabregas and Alex Hleb (both hamstring) are all back in training and fighting to be fit for what could be a pivotal game in the title race. A decision will be made as late as Sunday morning.
All three collected their injuries during a run of four away games straddling the end of November and the start of December. Arsenal returned home on Wednesday against Steaua Bucharest and, in that game, were able to start Robin van Persie for the first time in two months. He suffered no ill-effects and has been named in the squad but Theo Walcott collected a knock on his knee against the Romanian side. The England winger is definitely out and, of course, question marks remain over those others.
"Who will make it, I don't know?" said Arsène Wenger at his pre-match press conference. "We know Robin van Persie will be available. As for Mathieu Flamini, Cesc and Alex Hleb, the signs look quite good but we have to make a decision."
The manager added that if Fabregas was passed fit he would play.
"Theo Walcott is out with a little knee problem," the Frenchman continued. "That is a question of days and we feel he should be OK for Tuesday maybe."

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
14 Dec 2007