Arsene Wenger has revealed that Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott will both miss Saturday’s game with Reading, while Kieran Gibbs and Abou Diaby are both doubts.
Having banjaxed his pelvis while away with England it’s not surprising to hear that Walcott is out of action. However, eager not to blame Roy Hodgson for the circumstances of the winger’s latest problem, the boss made clear:
“We have a good relationship [with England]. Walcott’s injury was an accident.”
Tipped in certain quarters for a return after the international break, the boss also revealed that he is treating Jack Wilshere with caution given his well-documented ankle problems.
“Because of his history we are a bit more cautious. It’s not better or worse,” the boss is quoted as saying by the Mirror’s John Cross.
He then went on to clarify that the midfielder will spend one more week in rehab before returning for the game on 6 April against Wst Brom.
Lukas Podolski and Bacary Sagna both return to the squad and it sounds as though the rest of the players who travelled across the globe on international duty have returned unscathed. Alas, two players who stayed back could well miss out this weekend with Kieran Gibbs ill and Abou Diaby, in that inimitable way of his, picking up a ‘problem’. It’s not clear exactly what or how serious it is.
Arsenal have lost only one game out of the last 29 at the Emirates following an international break but with Reading appointing Nigel Adkins as their new boss this week and fighting for their Premier League lives it’s a match which is sure to be tough. Let’s hope the boys can pick up where they left off against Bayern and Swansea…
BBC’s David Ornstein on Twitter: “Had Wenger’s comments on Wilshere clarified – he’s set to miss Reading & West Brom, should return for Norwich on 13 April”