By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger had mixed injury news to report when he spoke to Arsenal TV Online on Thursday afternoon.
Bacary Sagna has recovered from his ankle injury and should be fit for the visit of Stoke on Saturday. However, Theo Walcott has a collected a short-term hamstring problem and will miss out.
Alex Song is suspended after receiving his fifth booking of the season on Wednesday at Manchester City. But, on the upside, the manager revealed that Robin van Persie (ankle) and Kieran Gibbs (foot) are both recovering well from recent surgery.
"We had Sagna out injured [before] but, normally, he will be available," said Wenger.
"However, Theo Walcott will not be available. He has a hamstring injury.
"As for the other players we had injured, the long-term ones I do not even speak about. But the players who looked to be shorter - like Clichy, Diaby and Bendtner - will not be available. And, of course, Song is suspended for the weekend."
Gibbs and Van Persie are in the longer-term bracket but thankfully both are on the mend after surgery.
"Kieran is doing very well," said Wenger. "I had him on the phone and it looked to be completely fine. I have not talked to Robin yet but there again the news I got from the surgery was it went very, very well. There was a lot of disturbance on our side recently [about his injury] but the surgery went well."
Arsenal TV Online subscribers can see the full interview on Friday morning. In it Wenger talked about:
- more news on his transfer plans in January
- the defeat to Man City in the Carling Cup
- his attitude to the FA Cup this season
- the strength of Stoke
- coping with recent results
- the need to retain belief in his side
- the accusation that Arsenal are not strong enough
- his 100th Arsenal game at Emirates Stadium