Arsenal injury situation less optimistic than hoped

Shaun Botterill

Several injured players were expected to be available this weekend, but it sounds like that's not going to be the case.

So we have some team news from Arsene Wenger, and it's not nearly as rosy as the news from yesterday made it appear. Several players will be missing from the team this weekend, according to the manager, and some may be a little bit past that as well.

Tomas Rosicky had facial surgery this week to repair a nose broken in two places by Gabriel Agbonlahor's elbow. It went well, and he may be available Saturday to face Fulham, but would have to wear a mask and will be "monitor[ed] closely." Nacho Monreal's injury against Aston Villa wasn't nearly as bad as first feared, though he is doubtful for the weekend. No bones were broken but there is bruising and ligament damage, so again he's going to be monitored.

Out for the weekend will be Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta, Thomas Vermaelen, and Nicklas Bendtner. Wenger says the first three likely will also miss the FA Cup match against Coventry City next Friday, while Bendtner "has a little chance" to play but more likely will be out.

So the squad is going to be a little bit thin for the weekend and possibly after - though Coventry is a League One team, so I would imagine there will be some squad rotation no matter what. We should still have the players to beat Fulham, but it will be a sterner task than perhaps expected.

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