Arsene Wenger has again refused to put a time scale on Jack Wilshere’s return from injury. The England international hasn’t played any football for nearly a year and having undergone surgery on both his knee and ankle is set to miss the start of the season.
Fellow midfielders Tomas Rosicky and Emmanuel Frimpong and right-back Bacary Sagna will also miss the opening weeks of the new term, although in more positive news the boss confirmed Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby are fit.
“It is impossible to set a concrete deadline at the moment. But it is all OK. He is as quick as we expected him to be. His ankle is good and his knee is good. There is no set-back.
“It difficult to say ‘it will be this week in September or October’ when he is back in training. He has been out for a year and I don’t want to put any pressure on him.”
Touching on the state of the rest of his injured party, the boss continued:
“[Sagna] is doing very well. There are no problems there. But it will be the end of August for him. [Diaby] is fit, raring to go and will be on the tour. That is fantastic news for him and us.”
“It will be six to eight weeks until Rosicky is back in training. It was his [plantaris tendon], it was done at the Euros.”
“Emmanuel [Frimpong] is doing very well. It will be the end of September or perhaps into October for him.”
Having missed Euro 2012 with a shoulder problem, which looked like it could end his chances of a move from Arsenal, Lukasz Fabianski is also fit and will travel to Malaysia this afternoon.
For all too obvious reasons Robin van Persie has been excluded from the touring party and seemingly had his captaincy passed to Thomas Vermaelen.
The absence though of new boys Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud comes as something of a surprise after the boss hinted on Thursday that both would make their debuts on Tuesday against Malaysia.
“Some of them [will not go on tour] because they are too far behind to be competitive,” explained Wenger. “But most of them will go.
“The German players [Podolski and Mertesacker] are just back in training on Saturday so they will be late. Some players have to work on their fitness so are a bit behind, like Van Persie, like Koscielny, like Giroud, who came in later. They are not ready to play games.”