Arsenal's Gibbs on course for Chelsea clash

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The Independent Football

Arsenal have confirmed Kieran Gibbs' foot injury is not as bad as first feared - and he could now be fit to face Chelsea later this month.

England Under-21 international Gibbs was pencilled in for an extended first-team run following Gael Clichy's back problem, before the injury which forced him out of the European Championship qualifier in Vilnius on Tuesday.

It was worried Gibbs had sustained a break, but with the injury confirmed as just bruising he should now be back in action for the visit of Chelsea on November 29.

A statement from the club read: "After being assessed by the Arsenal medical staff, the club can confirm that Kieran Gibbs has sustained severe bruising to the bones and soft tissue of his right foot.

"Thankfully the foot is not fractured and his enforced absence will be short term."

In the meantime, with Armand Traore, who has made just one appearance in the Carling Cup, only just returning from a groin problem, Arsene Wenger is likely to turn to Mikael Silvestre to fill in on the left side of defence.

Silvestre, 32, has watched from the bench for most of the season, appearing in only the Champions League qualifier against Celtic and two Carling Cup fixtures.

The Frenchman - who won the title four times as well as the European Cup while at Old Trafford before joining the Gunners in August 2008 - is ready to take his chance when domestic action resumes this weekend.

"It is always difficult to stay on the bench, but that is part of playing at the high level," Silvestre told Arsenal TV Online.

"You have to get on with it, and that is what I have been doing.

"It is always a test, whether you will be ready when it is going to be your time and you never know when that will be."

Silvestre added: "I feel good, fully fit.

"I just do what I have been doing - training hard and support the team.

"The pressure is higher because even if you are training hard, it is not like playing games.

"But as long as you enjoy it, then the rest will come."

Meanwhile, Eduardo has signed a new "long-term" contract at the Emirates Stadium.

The 26-year-old, who joined the Gunners from Dinamo Zagreb in 2007, has been rewarded for his form since recovering from a badly broken leg.

The Croatia international was sidelined for almost a year after suffering in the injury in February 2008.

He has now scored 18 goals in 48 first-team appearances for Wenger's team.