Arsene Wenger has revealed the latest team news updates ahead of our Emirates FA Cup third-round clash against Preston North End at Deepdale.
The boss provided updates on Francis Coquelin, Mesut Ozil, Lucas and Santi Cazorla - and also revealed what squad he will take on Saturday.
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This is what he had to say:
on the team news…
Well, we might have a problem with Lucas because he injured his ankle and I have to see how he responds to that but that is the only problem we have from the game. Coming back, the closest is Walcott but he is still not ready, Gibbs will not be ready so I don’t think will be coming back into the squad.
He is out for three or four weeks now, it is his hamstring. I say three or four weeks because it is a hamstring and he came off, but maybe we will have good news. He will have a scan today, but I always count three weeks.
He is coming in today, and will be assessed by the doctor but he has been in bed for two weeks so I cannot imagine I will involve him on Saturday. It is flu, a throat infection - I don’t know exactly.
on the squad he will take…
We will play with 90 per cent of the squad, I will rest Koscielny because he came off with fatigue, of course Ospina will play, maybe Alexis I will rest certainly, but the rest will play.
on Santi's recovery…
At the moment, he is far [from returning]. It’s not going as quickly as I imagined it, so certainly in January he will not come back.
on whether it'll now be more than three months before he returns…
It could be a bit longer. At the moment I don’t really know, but I just have a schedule that he is not planned at the moment to go outside and run. I think once a player goes outside and runs without any problems, you come six weeks. At the moment he has not been out so that’s why I say in January he will certainly not play.
on whether that is a frustration for him…
It is because he’s such a great player and as well because he has started the season in such a tremendous way. He was the dominating player in our squad at the start of the season and we suddenly lost him.
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