By Richard Clarke
Cesc Fabregas is set to be named in the Arsenal squad on Saturday for the first time since before Christmas.
The captain was last seen hobbling off just before half time against Liverpool on December 21 after picking up an injury to his knee ligaments.
The return of Fabregas is one of the major names involved in Arsenal's injury merry-go-round before the game against Manchester City on Saturday. Emmanuel Adebayor (hamstring) is back after two months out while Theo Walcott (knee) is available following a fortnight on the sidelines.
But Robin van Persie (groin), Eduardo (groin) and Abou Diaby (thigh) will be absent after all three picked up injuries on international duty. Samir Nasri (flu) and Carlos Vela (fatigue) may also miss out. But Nicklas Bendtner should be available despite picking up a knee problem for Denmark on Saturday.
"We have lost Robin van Persie for a groin problem," manager Arsène Wenger said.
"We have also lost Eduardo through a groin problem, he picked it up after 80 minutes in the Croatian game. We lose as well Abou Diaby with a thigh problem that he picked up in France in training. We might lose Nasri too because he came back with flu and could not practice today.
"So three players are out and there is a question mark over Nasri. But Fabregas, Adebayor and Walcott are all back and available in the squad.
"Nicklas texted us last night and said everything was alright with him. But Carlos Vela, I count out because he lands on Friday morning at 10.30am. However if needed he can be in the squad."
Arsenal TV Online subscribers can see the full video interview on Friday morning. In it the manager talks about:
- The return of Cesc Fabregas
- How Arsenal have missed him
- Keeping players in the summer
- The Man City saga this season
- The form of Stephen Ireland
- The fortunes of England and France
- The title race
- The opportunity to move further ahead in fourth place