Arsene Wenger has revealed a mix of bad and good news for Arsenal fans to chew over as the preparations continue for the London clash against West Ham on Saturday.
The sad news is that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is set for another spell on the sidelines this season. The 21-year old was subbed off after five minutes of the second half of Monday’s FA Cup win at Old Trafford with what looked a hamstring strain. The Gunners’ boss has now not only confirmed the injury but confirmed the expected duration of his absence.
“It’s a classic hamstring. That means he will be out for three weeks, four weeks maximum. He will not be available for England as well.” Wenger said, per Arsenal.com
“It’s very frustrating for him because he played more games than ever this season. In the last two months I feel he was a bit in and out. He has shown again on Monday night what an important player he can be for Arsenal and for England. It’s a shame that in the final sprint and he’s not there.”
Indeed the Ox has proven to be one of the more vibrant players in the team this season and many gooners have observed many similarities between his play and that of Chilean Alexis Sanchez. Only Mertesacker, Alexis and Cazorla have played more games than he this season and Wenger is hoping this latest absence does not affect him so much mentally.
“How much I don’t know but it is affecting him because he loves to play. He is keen to play for England and I think it is a big blow for him. He knows as well that it is the type of injury where you can recover quickly and come back. But it is not an ideal moment.”
Another England International, Jack Wilshere, may still have to miss out on some weeks of action. The midfielder had returned to training mid-February but has not played any games as he underwent another surgical procedure to remove the buttons in his ankle as part of a recovery process.
On the flip side, Wenger had good news from the defensive department with Flamini available for selection while Brazilian defender, Gabriel scheduled to be back in training on Sunday. Team captain, Mikel Arteta has also returned to training but may not be back in contention for places till about three weeks.
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