By Richard Clarke
Abou Diaby is hoping to return for the home game with West Brom on Saturday.
The midfielder has been out since injuring his ankle against Bolton a fortnight ago and will have a fitness test on Friday.
Tomas Rosicky (ankle) and Emmanuel Eboue (knee) also face examinations. Meanwhile Alex Song is back from suspension and Sebastien Squillaci (muscle) should return after being rested in midweek.
Apart from that Arsenal’s injury list is well known however, speaking on Thursday, Arsène Wenger did have greater clarity on the timescales involved. Cesc Fabregas (hamstring) is out for the next two games but has a chance of returning for the encounter at Stamford Bridge next Sunday. Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles) is on a similar schedule.
Kieran Gibbs (foot) is almost certainly out this Saturday but any absence will be thankfully short. After limping out of the midweek victory at Tottenham, there were fears he had broken a metatarsal.
“The only player who could come back is Diaby,” said Wenger. “He will have a test on Friday morning and we will see from there.
“Kieran Gibbs is a major doubt of course but we are just happy that he has not broken his foot. He will be short-term, maybe Tuesday, we don’t know but we will see. It is only bone bruising, there does not look to be any ligament damage. Let’s hope.
“Thomas Vermaelen will be out for the next two games. Cesc Fabregas is out 100 per cent for the next two games. We have a small hope he could be back against Chelsea.
“Song is back after suspension. I rested Squillaci because he had a small muscle problem but he should be back.
“We have some problems about Rosicky with his ankle and with Eboue's knee. They will both have a fitness test tomorrow.”Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source