By Richard Clarke

Kieran Gibbs will make a surprise return to the Arsenal squad for the game against Standard Liege this week.

Late last Tuesday night, Arsène Wenger received a call saying the left back was in a Lithuanian hospital nursing a suspected fractured foot after limping off early on in an England Under-21s international. It turned out to be a false alarm and thankfully the 20-year-old was missing for a matter of days rather than a matter of weeks. At his pre-game press conference his manager was happy to see him return.

“We have the same players available plus Kieran Gibbs is back in the squad,” confirmed Wenger.

“It is a surprise [he’s back], especially if you compare that with the first phone call I got that looked like he had a broken metatarsal. So it has been quite quick but it was just bruising.”

Wenger also used the opportunity to give an update on the other absentees.

“Van Persie and Bendtner, they are out for longer,” he said. “Clichy is not too far, I think two to three weeks. Fabianski will play on Wednesday night in the Reserves, so after that he will be available. Diaby had a recurrence of his calf injury so he is three weeks away.”

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23 Nov 2009