Arsene Wenger has given another injury update ahead of the North London Derby, with Nacho Monreal and Kim Kallstrom given the all clear to join the squad.
Aaron Ramsey is struggling to return to full fitness and is still suffering a pain in his thigh. The Gunners medical team are remaining cautious over the Welshman’s recovery, with Wenger confirming the midfield maestro is set for a further two weeks on the sidelines.
Mesut Ozil’s hamstring injury is set to keep the midfielder out anywhere from three to six weeks, however Wenger feels his squad has the resources to cope without the club record signing.
The Arsenal boss faced the media on Friday and revealed the following team news:
[on the team news for Sunday] Monreal is definitely available, as for Gibbs we are not sure.
[on Kallstrom] He’s back in the squad and available for selection.
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[on Ozil] He has been injured on Tuesday night and I don’t know how long exactly he will be out for but it looks a minimum of three weeks. The maximum is six.
[on Sanogo] He could be all right. He has a test yesterday which was positive.
[on Ramsey] Our worry at the moment is that Ramsey takes longer than expected. He had a first setback before and now it’s slower. It was the plan for him to join in on Thursday but he still has recurrent pains in his thigh and of course he’s now a little bit apprehensive because of the setback he had. We have to be very cautious with him. When will he be back? I believe it’s two more weeks now.
The Gunners are set for an extended spell without their star midfielder Ozil, but Wenger feels his side has enough depth to continue their title challenge without the German, with Cazorla and Rosicky more than capable No 10s.
The Frenchman noticed Ozil was struggling early on with a hamstring problem in the Bayern tie and was consequently substituted at half time.
Wenger responded to questions on how he will deal without Ozil:
It is of course a blow but I am confident we have the quality without him during that period. We have many creative players in our squad who can take over and produce quality performances. I am convinced that the team is ready, even without Ozil, to go for the challenge.
[on whether the rest will do Ozil good] He had a very good game against Everton on Saturday and I feel he was handicapped from early on in the [Bayern] game by this hamstring because I saw him stretching a few times.
See here for our predicted lineup, where we investigated two different selections Wenger could choose to cover for Ozil.