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
Legendary blues and rock singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer, his management team as confirmed. He was 70
people70-year-old was most famous for 'You are So Beautiful'
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballLatest score and Twitter updates
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
The US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
tech
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
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

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'