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- Video: Arsenal 0-0 Boro: Lackluster Gunners drop valuable points
- Teams: Arsenal v Middlesbrough: Cazorla out, Elneny in
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- [Photos] Arsenal duo step-up injury comebacks in training today
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- Arsene Wenger sets comeback date for forgotten Arsenal man
- Arsenal boss confirms fresh injury doubt for Middlesbrough game
Team News: Wenger On Monreal, Rosicky, Ramsey, Arteta & Vermaelen
It’s Fulham up next as we welcome the West Londoners to the Emirates on Saturday afternoon. Arsene Wenger has given Arsenal.com a team news update and it seems we’ve got quite a few injury worries to contend with this weekend.
The big injury news over the last couple of weeks has surrounded Theo Walcott with the winger ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Wenger has revealed that the operation on Theo’s cruciate ligament went well and has backed him to be fit in time for the start of next season.
There were rumours that Walcott could perhaps use ‘special’ procedures to make the World Cup in the summer but the boss has dashed those hopes, and rightly so. We don’t want him risking his long-term health just to try and play for England in the summer.
Monday’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa came at a cost with both Nacho Monreal and Tomas Rosicky being forced off with injuries. Monreal was on the wrong end of a heavy challenge from Ron Vlaar and there were fears he may have broken a metatarsal in his foot. However, thankfully Arsene has revealed that it’s nothing more than a twisted ankle. The Spaniard will likely miss the Fulham clash but shouldn’t be out long-term.
Rosicky wasn’t so lucky with his broken nose confirmed by the boss. In fact, the Czech midfielder broke his nose in two places and had to have surgery to reset it after being elbowed in the face by Agbonlahor. It makes the referees decision not to dish out a card or award a free-kick even more disgraceful. Tomas will miss this weekend’s action and may have to wear a face mask over the next few weeks.
The squad is further reduced by the news that Mikel Arteta, Thomas Vermaelen and Aaron Ramsey will all also continue to be unavailable against Fulham. Arteta missed the game at Villa park with a calf injury and it looks like he’ll be out for at least another week.
Ramsey has already been on the sidelines with a thigh strain for three weeks and will also miss the next two games, while Vermaelen will join the duo in returning after next weeks FA Cup clash with Coventry.
The final update from the boss was on Nicklas Bendtner, with the striker a possibility to face Coventry but will more than likely return against Southampton. Wenger said:
on Theo Walcott’s surgery…
It went very well. The damage was real in the knee so he will have to take the needed time, so let’s not be hopeful that he will go to the World Cup – that is not possible. But overall his long-term future is very positive. It’s about being fit for next season now.
on Monreal and Rosicky…
Monreal looks a doubt for Saturday, a big doubt, because he twisted his foot on the kick. It is not the bruise, he turned and twisted the ligament. Rosicky had surgery with a general anaesthetic for a broken nose in two places. With a mask he may be available, but we have to monitor it closely.
on Arteta (calf), Vermaelen (knee) and Ramsey (thigh)…
Ramsey and Arteta are both out for this game. Vermaelen too. I personally believe the three will miss the Coventry game as well and will be available after that.
on Bendtner (ankle)…
He has a little chance to make Coventry. But in all probability it will be after that.
So the squad is once again going to be down to the bare bones on Saturday and we’ll more than likely need a couple of the kids to be on the bench to make up the numbers. As well as the seven players mentioned above, we also have the likes of Abou Diaby and Yaya Sanogo unavailable. The injuries are certainly becoming a problem and it’s something worth considering if you were planning on betting on the match against Fulham FC. I still think we’ll have enough to secure the three points, but it’s been made that little bit more difficult now that so many players have been ruled out.
Thankfully the majority are short-term injuries and it looks like we’ll have at least four players back in 7-10 days, which will be just in time for what’s going to be a season-defining February month.