Arsène Wenger has given updates on the availability of Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla, ahead of Arsenal’s match against Burnley on Sunday.
Theo and Santi were both unavailable for Thursday’s Europa League match against FC Köln, whilst Danny was substituted early. Wenger says there was no injury to the striker, and he was just trying to ease the England international back into the action. He explained to the club website: “The last time he came back from injury, we played him at Watford and after an hour he got a bad hamstring. This time I didn’t want to take that gamble.
“I wanted to be a bit more progressive with him. Almost certainly, nothing would have happened but I felt it was more sensible to do it. He’s fine. He’s completely fine.”
So Welbeck could be available for the weekend’s game, but there’s no such luck with the other two. Wenger said of Walcott: “For the weekend, no [he is not available]. He’s back in training now, so he should be okay for next week. He has been ill.”
Then, on long-term injury sufferer Cazorla, who hasn’t played in over a year, Wenger said: “I hope to see him soon, that he comes over to give an update.”
That means right now, only Santi is expected to be out next week, which is almost unheard of at Arsenal. We’ll have to wait for Cazorla’s update before we know how long it’ll be until the club could potentially have a fully fit squad.
With nine games in December, however, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. The Gunners have had a relatively easy time with matches at the moment, as there’s pretty much only been one Premier League game a week, with then Europa League or League Cup games used to play those who miss out on the league action.
When the league games start coming every few days, some players could end up playing much more regularly, so we’ll have to see how Wenger and the team handle that.
Is that the sound of hamstrings pinging in the distance that I hear? Or have Arsenal finally cracked their injury problems with the changes they have made behind-the-scenes? We will know by the new year…