Wenger’s Team News: Walcott Blow, No Early Return For Cazorla, Ramsey Should Be OK
Arsenal take on Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday night. Here’s team news with the latest on the fitness of Walcott, Cazorla, Ramsey and Flamini.
Arsenal take on Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday night looking to cement their place at the top of the Premier League.
Ahead of the game, boss Arsene Wenger has been speaking to the press and gave Arsenal.com a team news and injury update with the latest on the fitness of Mathieu Flamini, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, and Theo Walcott.
Midfielder Flamini was forced to sit on the bench for Wednesday’s League Cup clash with West Brom after picking up a shoulder problem while the in-form Ramsey has also suffered a minor thigh strain in training this week.
However, while both will be checked on Friday afternoon, Wenger is confident the pair will be available to face the Swans this weekend.
Cazorla has been out for the last four games with an ankle knock and he claimed on Thursday that he hoped to be back to face West Brom next weekend. But the Arsenal boss has damped those hopes by stating the Spaniard won’t return to action until after the international break.
Walcott picked up an abdominal strain in the warm up last Sunday forcing him to undergo a minor operation in Germany on Wednesday to cure the problem and he was initially expected to return for the Norwich game on the 19th October.
While Wenger confirmed the surgery was a success, he warned the winger may not return for another five weeks which means he could be on the sidelines until early November. Here’s what Wenger told the clubs official website:
on the latest team news…
Overall we don’t have any more injuries than we had before the West Brom game. Flamini has a small shoulder problem. Ramsey we have to check him today [Friday]. I believe that there is nobody really injured from the West Brom game.
on whether Flamini and Ramsey could miss Swansea…
I don’t think so. I’m quite optimistic about them. Ramsey has a little thigh problem but he should be alright. He has a test. He is going back to Wales, certainly, for him it is always special. But you know Aaron Ramsey is a tough boy. He has a test and I think he will get through. No [I wouldn’t want to take a risk on him].
on Santi Cazorla…
Santi Cazorla is on schedule [to return] after the international break.
on Walcott and how his surgery went…
As well as it could go. There were no complications. You know sometimes you open and you find an unexpected problem. It was very simple.
on when Walcott could return…
Optimistic, three weeks. Realistic, five.
It will be a huge blow if Theo is out for another five weeks. It would mean that as well as missing the expected fixtures before the international break, he would also miss additional games against Norwich, Borussia Dortmund, Crystal Palace and Chelsea. He would then be lacking in match practice heading into crunch games with Liverpool, Dortmund again and Man Utd at the start of November. So fingers crossed he makes a quick recovery because we really can’t do without him.
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