By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger admits he was “relieved” when the full extent of the injuries to Robin van Persie and Kieran Gibbs was revealed.

Both collected knocks during international duty, the Dutchman on his ankle, the Englishman on his foot. It was deeply disappointing news but, in comparison to initial reports, the extent of the problems is relatively short-term.

“We knew that when Robin came out with this injury, that he would be out for a long time,” Wenger told Arsenal TV Online. “But frankly I feared it would be more because the first news was very, very bad. So it was a relief that he would be out for six weeks.

“Of course it is a disappointment and something we did not want but I feel we have enough strength to compensate for his absence for a while. It will also allow him to be fresh for when he comes back.

“[As for Kieran], our medical staff called me saying he was in hospital in Lithuania with a suspected broken metatarsal. Later on it was much better news. He will still be out for Sunderland but maybe we could have him back for Standard Liege on Tuesday.”

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19 Nov 2009