Arsenal disagree over Johan Djourou injury assessment

By Jim van Wijk
Tuesday 15 March 2011 17:18

Arsenal defender Johan Djourou may yet be able to play again this season, according to the Swiss Football Association.

The centre-half looked set to miss the rest of the campaign after dislocating his shoulder during Saturday's 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Manchester United.

However, those initial fears of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger look to have been eased after extensive tests, and the 24-year-old could be back in action by the end of the month.

A statement from the Swiss FA on their website,, read: "The shoulder injury to Johan Djourou is less serious than feared on Saturday and announced by the coach of his club."

Switzerland hope Djourou may even be available for their Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria on March 26.

The statement continued: "The Arsenal defender and member of the Switzerland national team was submitted to thorough medical examinations on Monday.

"At the end of a long exhausting day, Johan Djourou had new hope that his season is not over yet."

Djourou, who missed nearly all of the 2009/10 season with a serious knee injury, has not suffered any fractures, while ligament damage is suggested "not to be in a serious condition".

With Thomas Vermaelen yet to feature since the end of August because of a niggling Achilles injury, the early return of Djourou would be a boost to the Gunners as they look to salvage their season by delivering the Barclays Premier League title.

Wenger is certainly in need of some good news on the injury front, having already ruled midfielder Alex Song (knee) out of Saturday's trip to relegation battlers West Brom.

Captain Cesc Fabregas (hamstring) and England winger Theo Walcott (ankle), meanwhile, are also both not expected to feature at The Hawthorns.

There could, though, be a familiar face in the Gunners squad again this weekend should a deal be completed for veteran Jens Lehmann to return.

The former Germany goalkeeper, 41, left Arsenal in 2008, but is in talks over a short-term deal to help the club through an injury crisis which has seen Lukasz Fabianski ruled out until the end of the season because of a shoulder problem and Wojciech Szczesny sidelined by an injured finger which he picked up in the Champions League defeat to Barcelona which has left Manuel Almunia as the only fit senior keeper.

Lehmann and Almunia had a difficult relationship when they battled it out for the number one jersey previously.

However, Lehmann, part of the 'Invincibles' team which won the 2003/2004 Premier League, maintains he will give the Spaniard his full support.

"This time I'm looking forward to being in a back-up role and will look to support Almunia," Lehmann told German newspaper Bild.

"We can still win the title."

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