By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger is hoping that Abou Diaby recovers from his calf injury in time to rejoin the Arsenal squad for Sunday's crucial trip to Chelsea.
The midfielder has been sidelined since the 4-2 victory over Bolton on January 20 but is now nearing fitness. Admittedly, Diaby has yet to return to full training however, and speaking on Thursday, his manager described the Frenchman's inclusion as "a maybe" and added any decision would only be made on the eve of the game.
Elsewhere, Sol Campbell is available after a minor groin strain but Eduardo is definitely out. The Croatian is yet to recover from the hamstring injury he collected at Aston Villa on January 27. Carlos Vela (knee) is still missing too.
"Diaby is not yet back in normal training," Wenger told TV Online. "He progresses very well but we will still have to wait until Saturday. He is a maybe. Campbell is back in squad, Eduardo is already ruled out.
"We still have Carlos Vela out too. Apart from that [there are no more changes from last Sunday]. Theo is back and available. Diaby is the question mark we have. All the others are longer term injuries."
Speaking of which, Wenger also gave an update on the progress of Johan Djourou (knee) and Robin van Persie (foot).
"It is still two months for Johan," he said. "We have to be patient with him. He is working well and progressing well. But he is not an immediate resource.
"For Robin, the rehabilitation is going well but anything before April would be a little bit premature."
TV Online subscribers can see the full interview on Friday morning. In it Wenger talks about:
- the challenge at Chelsea this Sunday
- the points they dropped at Hull in midweek
- the effect of the Africa Cup of Nations on both sides
- the win at Stamford Bridge last season
- the differences between the two sides this season
- the closure of the transfer window
- the defeat to Man United
- being caught by breakaway goals