Tomas Rosicky could be in line to start against Blackburn on
The Arsenal midfielder has been out of the side since the 3-0 victory over Tottenham on December 2 because of a hamstring injury. The Czech Republic international was due to play at Liverpool in the Carling Cup Quarter-Final on Tuesday. The postponement of that game has given him a few days more preparation.
Mathieu Flamini (shoulder) is fit and, as reported on Thursday, Justin Hoyte will come in for Emmanuel Eboue (ankle). There is no change with the other injured players.
"Flamini is back," said Arsène Wenger at Friday's press conference. "But Gallas (thigh) is not, Henry (hamstring) is not and Lauren is not yet. Eboue (ankle) is out so Hoyte will come in at full back.
"But Rosicky is back and has a chance to start."
Lauren is now fit after 11 months out with a knee injury. He was due to be on the bench at Liverpool but he needs a gentle re-introduction at right back, even though the opportunity for a return has presented itself against Blackburn.
"He played 70 minutes in a friendly against a Vietnamese team," said Wenger. "But he needs three or four games to be completely back. We cannot just throw him straight back in after such a long period out."
Arsenal.com reported on Thursday that Abou Diaby (ankle) will be in line for a first-team return in six weeks.
"He is planned to start training with the squad on January 5," the manager added on Friday.
Copyright 2013 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 22 Dec 2006