Injured Ox facing FA Cup final fitness battle


Arsene Wenger has revealed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is facing a race against time if he’s to be involved in the FA Cup final.

The England midfielder wasn’t part of the matchday squad for the win over Newcastle United last night with the boss revealing the 20-year-old has strained his groin and will be rested for a full two weeks.

“He [Oxlade-Chamberlain] has an inflammation of his groin,” told press last night.

“He couldn’t practise. I put him on Friday on the team sheet and played him when he was needed, but it came to a point where it didn’t progress. We decided to give him a complete rest for two weeks. Will he be involved with me? I think he has a chance. But will he be ready for England? I think so.”

Injured on the first day of the season against Aston Villa, Chamberlain has endured a frustrating season making only 12 starts in all competitions and only 20 appearances in total.

Having announced himself on the international stage with a stunning volley against Brazil last summer he was tipped for big things this year only for knee ligament damage to keep him out until January. He looked sharp against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in March but having been pressed into action against Wigan Athletic (when obviously not fully fit) his body again seems to be suffering. Fingers crossed he’s back soon and fit enough to be selected for England.

He’s not the only one of Roy Hodgson’s young charges racing the clock. Jack Wilshere is facing the same battle to get up to speed, although the boss did confirm last night that the 22-year-old is back in training.

Jack is training already. It can’t tell you when he will be ready. I hope he will be back this season but I can’t tell you that tonight.” 

You suspect if we beat West Brom on Sunday he may well get himself 30 minutes against Norwich on the last day of the season.

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