By Richard Clarke
Kieran Gibbs will be out for “a few weeks” with the medial knee ligament injury he picked up at Newcastle on Wednesday night.
The left back limped off after 18 minutes in the 4-0 win at St James’ Park but, providing Friday’s scan is positive, his absence will be
The other major news is that Aaron Ramsey and Robin van Persie are scheduled to return to full training at the end of next week. However Wenger warned that both would need further fitness work – particularly the Welshman.
“We lost Kieran Gibbs last night,” Wenger told TV Online on Thursday afternoon.
“That is the bad news.
“It is a medial knee ligament strain. It needs to be checked on the scan tomorrow but it will be a few weeks.
“We have nobody else back from Manchester City. Van Persie and Vermaelen are still out. Ramsey and Almunia are not ready. So it should be a similar squad to the one that played at Man City.
“But Van Persie and Ramsey are very close to coming back to full training now. They should be back in the group at the end of next week.
“Of course we should not set the same [recovery] time to Ramsey as Van Persie. Aaron will need a longer period to be completely match-fit for the first team. But Van Persie is not far away now.
“Manuel Almunia is maybe one to two weeks away. With Vermaelen, it is difficult to set a fixed time because his Achilles improves slowly.”
TV Online subscribers can see the full interview later. In it, Wenger talks about:
- the comeback of Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner
- the emergence of Wojciech Szczesny
- winning so handsomely at Newcastle
- West Ham’s woes
- the unusual ‘chasing pack’ in the Premier League
- his surprise Ballon d’Or nomination