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Team News: Wenger on Walcott, Monreal, Cazorla, Ramsey & more
It’s been another hectic day of injury news at Arsenal HQ so I thought I’d bring you Arsene Wenger’s full team news update ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Sunderland.
Unfortunately we have some concerns as the boss confirmed that Walcott, Monreal and Cazorla are all doubts for the trip to the Stadium of Light tomorrow lunchtime.
Walcott has a tight hamstring and wasn’t pictured at training this afternoon so I expect the winger to miss the Sunderland game but hopefully he’ll be back to face Ludogorets next week.
Monreal has a slight thigh issue and also missed training at London Colney today so Kieran Gibbs is on stand-by to deputise at left-back against the Black Cats this weekend.
There is slightly better news regarding Cazorla as he was able to take part in training this afternoon after missing the last two games with an Achilles injury but we’ll have to wait and see whether he passes a late fitness test.
Wenger also confirmed that Lucas Perez is facing an extended spell on the treatment table after suffering ankle ligament damage during our 2-0 EFL Cup win over Reading in midweek.
The striker is said to be ‘gutted’ as he’s now set to miss up to eight weeks and understandably the boss wasn’t impressed with the ‘deliberate’ kick he received from the Reading player.
There was some positive team news as the boss revealed that Ramsey will be back in the squad tomorrow after finally overcoming a niggling hamstring injury that’s plagued him since the opening weekend of the season.
However, after such a long time on the sidelines, Wenger isn’t going to rush him back in to the starting eleven while Giroud is also back in contention after making his comeback from injury with a substitute appearance in midweek.
Xhaka remains suspended while Welbeck, Mertesacker and Akpom are injured so the squad could be a little stretched this weekend if Monreal, Walcott and Cazorla are all ruled out.
Here is what the boss told Arsenal.com:
on the latest team news…
From Tuesday night we’ve lost Lucas for a while with an ankle injury. I think he’ll be out for six to eight weeks. We have Giroud back available and Aaron Ramsey will be in the squad. We are [almost] in November, they have not played so it’s good to have them back. We have a few uncertainties over Walcott, Monreal and Cazorla, but they will all have tests today.
on Giroud and Ramsey…
They are available for selection. I have to be a bit cautious, especially with Aaron Ramsey, because he has not played at all yet. He has only had one week with the team so I will be a bit cautious with him.
on Lucas getting injured just as he was getting more minutes…
Yes it’s very frustrating because he worked very hard to get there. Of course he is absolutely gutted, because it’s an injury coming from nowhere, and a stupid one, because it was a deliberate kick. It’s a similar tackle to [the one from] Xhaka [against Swansea], but there was no red card. But the red card would not have helped Lucas. What is most important is that he’s out for six to eight weeks.
on whether Theo Walcott is ill…
No, he is not ill. There is a slight hamstring alert, a very minor one. He will have a test today.
on whether Theo will be available to face Ludogorets…
He should be OK for Tuesday. If it’s not tomorrow, it’s OK for Tuesday.
on Nacho’s injury…
He has a little muscle tightness.