Arsene Wenger has revealed that Jack Wilshere will miss this weekend’s Premier League clash with Burnley after picking up a “short-term” knee injury, adding to Arsenal’s ever-increasing injury woes.
Wilshere has been in impressive form of late having enjoyed a strong run in the Arsenal starting line-up, and with Aaron Ramsey only just returning from his own injury the Gunners rarely fielded their strongest midfield.
That will be the case again on Saturday as the England international will miss the visit of Burnley to the Emirates, although Wenger remains hopeful that left-back Kieran Gibbs will play a part in the encounter.
"There is a slight problem with Jack Wilshere,” said Wenger at his pre-match press conference. “Kieran Gibbs has a test.
Arsenal's injury list
Arsenal's injury list
1/5 Mikel Arteta (midfield)
Like Diaby, the Spaniard is closing in on a return but the Swansea match will come to soon. The club captain last played in November.
2/5 Mathieu Debuchy (defender)
Returned in the FA Cup semi-final win over Reading but has since been ruled out with injury and Wenger confirmed he remains 'unavailable'.
3/5 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (midfield)
Suffered a hamstring injury against Manchester United in the FA Cup and hasn't played since as it has exacerbated a groin problem. Out at least until May and facing surgery in the summer.
4/5 Aaron Ramsey (midfield)
Aaron Ramsey caught a kick on his calf during the win over Hull and was later substituted. The Welshman was rated 50/50 for the Swansea match by Wenger, but it now appears that he is a major doubt for the clash at the Emirates.
5/5 Danny Welbeck (forward)
Danny Welbeck has not played since the goalless draw with Chelsea towards the end of April after suffering a knee injury. Wenger has confirmed that the injury is 'nothing major', and that he should return to full fitness before the end of the season.
"He [Wilshere] got a kick on his knee, it is very, very short-term."
Wenger went on to confirm that Wilshere could recover in time to play a part in Tuesday’s Champions League tie against Anderlecht, but admitted that it may come too soon for the 22-year-old and instead could target next weekend’s trip to Swansea for a return.
“I don't know if Tuesday will be too early but certainly [fit for] Swansea,” Wenger added.
The 65-year-old Frenchman also confirmed that he will not risk starting Theo Walcott against the Clarets despite his return to fitness from a long-term knee injury that kept him out of action for nine months.
"Theo is not ready yet. He's been out for too long to start the game. If I can give him some competition I'm happy to do it," Wenger said.
"He's eager to play, but that is always the period when the patience of the player is tested.
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"They feel ready and want to play. Usually they realise only much later they are not completely ready.
"I know Theo very well. He's an intelligent player so he knows as well he's not completely there yet."
Wenger did have a positive update on the fitness of Olivier Giroud. The striker has not played since the 2-2 draw against Everton back in August in which he suffered a broken tibia, but Wenger revealed that he is “miles ahead of schedule” with the Frenchman originally believed to be out until the end of the year.
"Olivier is miles ahead of schedule,” said Wenger.
"He's doing very well. He's three weeks ahead of schedule and he will join normal training after the international break. Of course it's a big boost."
Wenger was also quizzed on Chelsea's potential to emulate his 'Invincibles' side of 2003-04, but he was quick to stress that it was impossible to judge at this point of the season.
He also added that people should not write off the Gunners as title contenders, and claimed the Blues were still catchable despite being nine points ahead going into the weekend's action.
"I don't write us off, let other people do that, but Chelsea are in a strong position at the moment," Wenger said.
"I believe it would not be realistic to just think now that we'll catch Chelsea very quickly.
"We have to get consistent results to have a chance of coming back.
"I'm more focused on the quality of our games and on the consistency of our results before we think about coming back on Chelsea."Reuse content