The injury problems in the Arsenal squad are the stuff of nightmares. We already had seven players sidelined with injury before the international break. And before the first round of international games itself, Mesut Ozil and Laurent Koscielny were sent back to London with a strained knee and damaged ligaments respectively.
According to arsenal.com, the Arsenal medical staff had informed their German counterparts about the injury to Ozil after the Chelsea game itself, but they had not expected it to be a severe injury. However, when Ozil was unable to participate in the training session, the full extent of the injury became clear. The German midfielder is now definitely sidelined for at least two months, maybe even more. Here is what Wenger had to say regarding the injury status of the squad:
When he arrived with the German national team, they didn’t think it was a lot at the start. He was supposed to practice on Wednesday but, in the end, he said that wasn’t possible for him.
Then he had a scan and it was bad news. We have our own specialist giving us his opinion after reading the scan and examining Mesut. We will follow our own recommendations.
Let’s hope the German is given enough time to heal properly, as rushing him back will benefit nobody. However, in some much more positive news, Wenger also announced that Theo Walcott, who has been sidelined since January, and Serge Gnabry are both back in training.
Mikel Arteta is also expected to return soon, and so is Aaron Ramsey, who is recovering very well and might even join the team ahead of schedule.
Theo is not too far away now. Serge has been out for a long, long time and Theo has also been out for nine months, so it’s good to see them back. They’ve worked very hard and they’re very dedicated. They are back in the group on a daily basis and that’s very good news.
For Ramsey it’s day 13 today and I think it will be day 21 before he is back into training. Arteta may be back with the group late next week.
One thing is for sure, the international break came at the perfect time for the Gunners. With the current state of our squad, there is no way we could compete in two games a week. By the time the players return, Arsenal will hopefully have enough fit men to field a fully competitive team again. But this incident only further highlights the fact that Wenger needs to strengthen the squad, and the sooner, the better.