By Giuseppe Muro
Arsène Wenger will make a late decision on whether to include Cesc Fabregas against Manchester United on Monday.
Wenger confirmed at his pre-match press conference on Friday that he is not willing to risk further damage to the hamstring injury that has troubled his captain for some time.
The manager had good news on Kieran Gibbs who is making a quicker than expected recovery after picking up an ankle injury in midweek, but he is still set for a three-week lay off.
Elsewhere there was positive news on Johan Djourou (thigh) and Gael Clichy (illness) but long-term absentees Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles), Abou Diaby (ankle) and Manuel Almunia (elbow) are still unavailable.
“We will not take an unreasonable gamble that is for sure, even if it is a big game,” said Wenger.
“It will be a very late decision to see if Cesc is in the squad or not.
“We have to assess if it is a risk for him to play and if he is ready to play in a very intense game, then I will make a decision. The final decision will be mine. I have the responsibility to make the decision.
“Today, Gibbs is much better than we expected him to be. He will take three weeks.
“I believed it was accidental. I am not worried, he is because of course it is very frustrating for a player to be in and out. When you speak about his future, I am not worried.
“It is very difficult to assess, when a player gets injured and has surgery his body has to adapt to a different co-ordination and it takes some time and there are new injuries.
“Djourou looks good, Clichy looks all right. Diaby and Vermaelen are out definitely for Monday.”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 10 Dec 2010