Arsène Wenger has confirmed that Laurent Koscielny and Theo Walcott could return to the squad on Saturday to face Sunderland.

French defender Koscielny suffered a hip injury which saw him substituted in last weekend’s draw at Norwich after 10 minutes, but could make the bench at least for Saturday’s visit of Sam Allardyce’s side.

The same applies to Theo Walcott, who hasn’t played since the end of October. The striker was in a rich vein of form when he suffered a calf injury in the League Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. Welcoming him back now would be timely, with Alexis Sánchez ruled out with a hamstring issue.

Kieran Gibbs missed last weekend’s game with a calf problem, but is also available.

“We will make a decision on Saturday on Koscielny and Walcott, they could both make the squad. Gibbs is available again for the weekend,” Wenger told on Thursday.

There was less news on other members of the squad, who definitely won’t feature at the weekend.

“At the moment on Alexis, Santi (Cazorla) and Mikel (Arteta), we don’t know how long they will be out for.”

Hopefully not too long, but we expect updates in Friday’s press conference.

The return of Walcott had been a talking point over recent days, but it’s a relief to see him back sooner than anticipated, especially with a huge Champions League match beckoning.