By Chris Harris
Abou Diaby is Arsène Wenger’s only new injury concern.
The French midfielder lasted just 27 minutes of Wednesday’s 2-2 draw at Wigan - his first start since mid-October - and Wenger is not expecting him back from a calf strain until late January.
“We lost Diaby last night for a while and he will have a scan today [Thursday] but in my opinion he will be out for over three weeks,” Wenger told Arsenal.com.
“Of course Thomas Vermaelen is not back, Manuel Almunia is still injured and Kieran Gibbs is injured as well with his ankle. He is not back but everybody else should be available.”
That includes Cesc Fabregas, who served a suspension at Wigan, but not Emmanuel Frimpong, who is still recovering from the serious knee injury he suffered at the start of the season. Nonetheless the teenage midfielder is making steady progress.
“He is coming along well for a guy who has a cruciate,” said Wenger.
“You count nine months and it is now nearly six. He is close to running and in one month he should start to play in training.”
Subscribers can watch the full interview with Wenger on Arsenal TV Online later today. In it he discusses:
- his regrets from the draw at Wigan
- a tale of two penalties
- leadership and communication at the back
- the change of mood since the Chelsea game
- Jack Wilshere’s physical improvement
- his half-term report on the season
- the issue of squad rotation
- Birmingham’s solid home form
- Alex Hleb’s return to the Premier League
- avoiding another damaging draw at St. Andrew’s