Arsene Wenger has revealed that Jack Wilshere’s latest scan was positive, but insists there is no fixed date for his return as the Frenchman remains cautious over his return. But there is bad news for Mertesacker who will sit out the remainder of the season after his ankle injury.
Andre Santos made his return to action for the Gunners reserve side and featured for 60 minutes in midweek and is aiming for a comeback against Everton for the first team, meanwhile Abou Diaby is closing on a return himself.
Wenger revealed the following team news on Arsenal’s official website:
on Andre Santos’ return for the reserves:
Andre played 60 minutes with no problem. Overall we are getting our players back so that is positive.
on Abou Diaby:
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Abou might play in the reserves next week at Liverpool. That game is on Tuesday night.
on Jack Wilshere:
Jack’s scan was positive. There is no problem, it is normal evolution and he is continuing his progression. It’s too early to fix a date though, we go day by day with him.
on Francis Coquelin:
Francis is two more weeks away from fitness.
on Per Mertesacker:
I believe Per will be out for the rest of the season. Basically there are only six weeks to go [this season] so I don’t think he’ll be sharp enough to come back and play. He would need to train and get back to full fitness.
Mertesacker’s news was expected with not long left in the league, if Vermaelen and Koscielny avoid injury for the remainder of the season there would be no real need for the German to return anyway. Diaby will be a welcomed addition to the squad to provide more depth in midfield and enable Wenger to rotate if certain players aren’t performing or injury strikers, but as for Wilshere I would prefer not to see him this season so that he can fully recover ahead of the next campaign. My main worry is that he will hardly feature for Arsenal and then head to Poland/Ukraine for an intensive Euro 2012 competition with England and come back injured again, but hopefully he will be 100% before leaving.
Now a big question is who does Wenger start out of Gibbs or Santos? Kieran Gibbs has featured recently since his comeback from injury and has performed well, despite the odd hairy moment such as the one against Newcastle when he allowed Ben Arfa to turn him inside and out to score their goal but he is probably more defensively able than his Brazilian counterpart. On attack the Englishman has provided a decent amount of service and adds even more pace to the left wing, but Santos’ attacking prowess can’t be denied with the South American netting that all important goal against Chelsea. Who would you choose?
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