Arsenal v Fulham: Tomas Rosicky could feature despite broken nose as Arsene Wenger welcomes back fit-again Aaron Ramsey
Rosicky had surgery on his nose after clashing with Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor while Ramsey should return to action having recovered from a thigh strain
Tomas Rosicky has undergone surgery on the broken nose he suffered during Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Monday night, but he could still feature in Saturday’s Premier League encounter with Fulham.
The Czech Republic captain has been fitted for a protective mask that would enable him to play a part in the match, although whether Wenger would choose to start the 33-year-old is unknown as he has shown a preference to rotate his midfield this season.
Rosicky caught a stray elbow from Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor when the pair contested a header, but Wenger has confirmed that he could play a part when London rivals Fulham make the short trip to the Emirates.
“Rosicky had surgery with a general anaesthetic for a broken nose in two places,” revealed Wenger. “With a mask he may be available but we have to monitor it closely.”
Rosicky wouldn’t be the first to wear a protective mask in the Premier League, with Chelsea strike-duo Fernando Torres and Demba Ba taking the same precautionary action after suffering similar injuries.
Wenger did confirm that they are likely to be without left-back Nacho Monreal this weekend. Despite initial fears that he had broken a metatarsal proving false, he has suffered a twisted ligament in his foot that is likely to keep him sidelined for a short time.
“Monreal looks a doubt for Saturday, a big doubt, because he twisted his foot in the kick,” Wenger continued. “It is not the bruise, he turned and twisted the ligament.”
Wenger can call upon the services of Kieran Gibbs though, as the Englishman made his return to action from a minor calf injury in the Villa victory. The 24-year-old is likely to return to the starting line-up in the Spaniard’s absence, having been Wenger’s preferred choice throughout the season so far.
The Gunners will also hope to have Aaron Ramsey back after he missed nearly a month of action due to a calf injury he picked up in the Boxing Day triumph over West Ham. Ramsey has been in tremendous form this season, leading the club’s scoring charts after netting 13 times in all competitions – with eight of those coming in the league.
The Welshman’s return will be a timely boost for Wenger as he is unlikely to be able to call on the services of vice-captain Mikel Arteta, with the Spaniard struggling with a calf injury that forced him to miss the trip to Villa.
However, his manager stressed that he will show caution in selecting Ramsey in order not to overexert the midfielder, meaning he could be named on the bench rather than be thrown straight into the starting line-up.
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