By Richard Clarke
It has been a difficult week for Arsenal on the injury front but, when Arsène Wenger spoke to Arsenal TV Online on Thursday afternoon, he was finally able to report some good news.
The manager has scratched the names Lukasz Fabianski, Carlos Vela, Denilson and Armand Traore off his injured list. He also confirmed that, following nine weeks out with a back problem, the Brazilian midfielder would definitely make the trip to Sunderland on Saturday.
After the injuries collected by Robin van Persie (ankle) and Kieran Gibbs (foot) during the international break, this was just the boost Arsenal needed.
The Dutchman will be out for around six weeks while, according to Wenger, the Englishman has a chance to return against Standard Liege on Tuesday - both less time than was first feared. With the likes of Abou Diaby and Theo Walcott also close to fitness, you could argue that, while hardly idle, Arsenal’s medical team are much less troubled than they might have been.
“We have no news yet on Andrey Arshavin,” said Wenger around lunchtime, before the Russian had reported back from international duty, “but it looks like everyone else will be available.
“Fabianski is available too. Bendtner (groin) is out for three more weeks and Diaby (calf) has a little chance for Chelsea.”
Gael Clichy (back) and Johan Djourou (knee) complete Arsenal’s injury list.
The full interview with Arsenal TV Online will be available on Friday morning. In it the manager talks about:
- Thierry Henry’s handball for France
- the important questions thrown up by the incident
- more on the injuries
- Robin van Persie’s unusual treatment
- Eduardo’s new contract
- the busy week ahead
- the rise of Steve Bruce
- the prowess of Darren Bent
- the importance of the Sunderland game