Injury Report: Ox, Giroud, Özil Available Monday

Can you feel the love? - Clive Mason

So, the Theo news is bad, but there are some encouraging signs from Arsene Wenger's press conference today about Monday's match.

Arsenal's striker/winger injury crisis might be temporarily abated after all.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, in his weekly press conference, looked ahead to Monday's match against Aston Villa at Villa Park with a report on who's available. And it's not so bad really, despite the obvious bad news that's made us weepy all week. Highlights include:

* Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's availability, which we reported on earlier this week, was confirmed by Wenger -- who noted that the last time the Ox played, it was also against Villa, but I don't remember when that was because I somehow can't recall that match having ever taken place. Allegedly, it was in August.

* Olivier Giroud and Mesut Özil also practiced yesterday, and they look good to go for Monday as well, though Wenger's delivering that news with a soupcon of maybe.

* Nicklas Bendtner, who Arsenal.com is hilariously calling "Super Nik," is about three weeks out, or just about the time remaining in the January transfer window in which he was expected to leave, before his goal-induced injury against Cardiff City changed those plans. (Note: HE WILL NEVER LEAVE.)

* Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs are still recovering from relatively minor injuries (when compared to Walcott's, to be sure) and might be available on Monday, though it's more likely they'll return when Arsenal attempts to accelerate Fulham's journey to the Championship on Jan. 18.

* And Thomas Vermaelen, who had a "little knee problem" against Spurs (as opposed to, you know, a big one), likely won't be available for Villa, which is fine and all, because Koscielny and Mertesacker are both available, and there's no way either of them would get, you know, sent off against Villa or anything.

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