By Richard Clarke

Eduardo may be “ready to go” but Arsène Wenger could resist the temptation to hand him his Arsenal comeback against Cardiff on Monday night.

The Croatian was surprisingly selected on the bench at Tottenham last Sunday but did not come on.

However the 25-year-old was involved for his national team on Wednesday night in Romania.

That was only a friendly of course. The striker’s last competitive first-team game was at Birmingham on February 23 2008 when he suffered a broken leg and a dislocated ankle.

Speaking to Arsenal TV Online on Thursday, Wenger said Eduardo was available for the FA Cup Fourth Round replay however the manager was quite prepared to take his time over the player’s re-introduction.

“He is back and ready to go,” said the Frenchman. “I don’t know [about Cardiff]. I don’t want to promise anything. I want the freedom to pick the team I want to pick.”

Elsewhere Abou Diaby is still out with a thigh problem and Aaron Ramsey could miss the opportunity to play against his former side. However Gael Clichy was likely to be available despite suffering a nasty gash on his head at White Hart Lane.

“From last night’s internationals we have a small alert on Aaron Ramsey,” said Wenger. “He picked up an injury with Wales and we’ll see how he is on Friday.

“From what I heard he has stretched his medial knee ligament. It is hard to tell anything when you have not seen the player yet.

“Abou Diaby has still not recovered. Apart from that we have only good news on the players who went to international duty.

“But of course Adebayor is out for three to four weeks and Clichy has not practised properly yet. We have not put him into any duels because of his head. But he should be alright for Monday.”

Arsenal TV Online subscribers will be able to see the full video interview on Friday. In it, he talks about:

  • the changes at Chelsea and Portsmouth
  • the arrival of Guus Hiddink
  • the importance of the FA Cup this season
  • the problems accommodating the replay
  • the draw at Tottenham
  • the sending off of Emmanuel Eboue
  • the return to form of William Gallas

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12 Feb 2009