TEAM NEWS: Round-Up – Wenger On Walcott, Wilshere, Giroud & Gibbs

By on October 31, 2014


It’s been a busy day of team and injury news with Arsene Wenger giving us plenty of updates on several of our key first team players, so here’s a round-up with the latest on Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs.

Giroud’s early return

Let’s start with the positive news and Arsene confirmed at his press conference this morning that Olivier Giroud is set to make a surprise early return from injury.

The striker has been on the sidelines since suffering a broken bone in his ankle against Everton in August and the early prognosis was he wouldn’t return until around the New Year.

However, Arsene has revealed that Giroud is now ‘miles ahead of schedule’ and will return to training after the international break in mid-November. He told Arsenal.com:

on Olivier Giroud…

[He is doing] very well. He’s three weeks ahead of schedule and I think he will join in normal training after the international break.

on that being a big boost…

Yes of course. He’s miles ahead of schedule.

Gibbs and Wilshere doubts

Next up and both Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere are facing late fitness tests before their participation against Burnley is determined.

Jack has suffered a minor knee injury and the boss expects him to miss this weekends action as well as our Champions League clash with Anderlecht on Tuesday, but he should be back to face Swansea next weekend.

Wenger is more positive on Gibbs and feels he should shake-off a hip problem that he picked up against Sunderland last week to take part tomorrow.

on the latest team news…

With the long-term injuries nobody is back. We have a slight problem with Wilshere. Will he be available [on Saturday] or not? I will see today. Gibbs as well has a test, but I am quite positive about him. About Wilshere I don’t think he will be available.

on Wilshere…

Very, very short-term. He got a kick on his knee. I don’t know if Tuesday will be too early or not, at the moment he doesn’t practice, but certainly Swansea, yes.

Walcott not ready

The final update was on the fitness of Theo Walcott and despite some papers suggesting he may start against Burnley tomorrow, Arsene has confirmed the winger isn’t ready to play the full ninety minutes yet.

“Theo Walcott is not completely ready,” Wenger told reporters this morning.

“He’s been out for too long to start.”

Theo has only played 45 minutes of football for the under-21’s in over 10 months so it’s sensible to not rush him back too soon. If we can give him 20 minutes against Burnley and another run-out against Anderlecht then perhaps he’ll be ready to start against Swansea next Saturday.

So apart from Jack picking up yet another knock, the team news is positive. Of course Giroud, Koscileny, Ozil, Debuchy, Ospina and Diaby are still unavailable but hopefully a couple of them will return after the international break and we’ll be in good shape heading into December.