By Richard Clarke

Arsenal will welcome back Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner for the visit of Blackburn on Sunday but Eduardo will be missing.

The England international has yet to figure in a competitive first-team game this season because of a back problem but he did have a successful run-out in a behind-closed-doors game with Olympiacos Under-20s on Tuesday.

Bendtner has fully recovered from his car crash over the weekend but Eduardo is out after aggravating a thigh muscle against the Greek side's senior team.

"Unfortunately, we lost Eduardo after he came on [against Olympiacos]," Arsène Wenger told Arsenal TV Online on Thursday.

"It was a gamble to play him and unfortunately his muscle injury got worse. He will be out. It is the same thigh muscle [as before] and has recurred a few times now. But Walcott and Bendtner are available."

Manuel Almunia (chest infection) has been missing since the defeat at Manchester City on September 12. The keeper is getting close to a return but, in all probability, it will not happen this weekend.

"Manuel Almunia is not far," said Wenger. "I will assess him Friday or Saturday but he looks unlikely to be ready."

On a brighter note, the manager revealed that Lukasz Fabianski (knee) and Samir Nasri (broken leg) were nearing a return to training. They have seen only 45 minutes of pre-season action between them this term.

"After the international break, both of them should be very close to being in the squad," said Wenger.

"They should be back in training before the end of the break. Then they will need a little bit of time to get back but they have had very good basic fitness work so once they practice with the team again it will be a very short time to wait."

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

  • The 13th anniversary of his appointment
  • Becoming Arsenal's longest-serving manager
  • The Club's influence on him
  • The current winning run
  • The performances of William Gallas
  • Andrey Arshavin's upturn in form
  • Coming up against a Sam Allardyce side
  • The nature of Blackburn's threat this week
  • The relegation battle this season
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1 Oct 2009