Wenger hopes Diaby recovers soon

Arsene Wenger is keeping his fingers crossed Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby will be back in action sooner rather than later.

The 24-year-old has been sidelined since October 16 with a niggling ankle problem after failing to fully recover from the effects of a crunching challenge by Bolton defender Paul Robinson the previous month.



Wenger had feared the France international, who had been in good form, would be set for an extended spell on the sidelines. However, the prognosis is now perhaps more positive.



"Diaby is having a gradual test. He had the first on Wednesday - that was positive," revealed the Arsenal manager.



"He has another on Thursday, so we will see what comes out of it. At the moment the response is good."



Arsenal got their Barclays Premier League campaign back on track with a hard-earned 2-0 win at Wolves in midweek.



Wenger revealed there were no fresh injury concerns ahead of Sunday's trip to Everton, where England full-back Kieran Gibbs could be involved after a knee problem.



"We should not have any bad news from Wednesday night. The squad should be the same," Wenger told Arsenal TV Online.



"We could have Gibbs available to be part of it again too. We will make the decision at the end of the week.



"He is back in normal training. It is just whether he is fit or not."



Wenger hinted he could look to freshen up Arsenal's starting XI, given the amount of games his squad have played recently in both domestic and European competition.



"There are always one or two changes," he said. "Some players have played a lot and we have some fresh, quality players on the bench.



"Some are not completely match-fit like [Robin] van Persie and [Nicklas] Bendtner, but in midfield there may be one or two changes."



Arsenal are short in the centre of defence with Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles) and Laurent Koscielny (suspension) both unavailable.



Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia is closing in on a return to full fitness after an elbow problem, but could have his path blocked by Lukasz Fabianski, who produced another impressive display at Molineux.



Youngster Wojciech Szczesny, meanwhile, has signed a new long-term contract.



The 20-year old has been with the Gunners since August 2007, and spent last season on loan at League One side Brentford.



Szczesny - whose old deal expired in the summer - had suggested he could look elsewhere for first-team football, but the 6ft 5in Pole has now committed his future to Arsenal.



The Arsenal number three impressed in the recent 4-0 Carling Cup win at Newcastle and Wenger believes the 20-year-old is a great prospect.



"We are delighted to secure the long-term future of Wojciech, who we regard as a very important part of our club's future," the Arsenal manager said.



"We have all seen his huge potential, both in training and in the matches that he has played for us, so we look forward to seeing him develop further in the coming years."

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?