In an absolute stunner, there is actually some good injury news coming out of the Arsenal camp presently. Well, somewhat good, I suppose - but considering the year this team has had in terms of health, it's all relative at this point. Most of the team is fit, and it looks like the players still out injured are close(ish) to making a return.
Of course, this being Arsenal, a lot of it is nebulous and there are still plenty of knocks to talk about. Forward!
First of all, the famous Abou Diaby. He just finished up 60 minutes in the reserves' 1-1 draw against Liverpool. According to the manager that was a planned substitution; however, ten minutes before that hour was up, Diaby hurt his ankle scoring Arsenal's only goal, in possibly the most Abou Diaby moment ever. He did finish his shift, but was a bit ginger for the last ten minutes. Wenger called him "back" in his interview but undoubtedly this new knock will force him into wait-and-see mode. Hopefully it's nothing serious, but with Diaby, sadly it always seems to be, even when it isn't.
Thomas Vermaelen has evidently been a little sore as well, as the manager said he "had a kick on his calf and after the game he had a big pain," but that he's fine now. So don't worry, no Ignasi Miquel against Everton. I hope.
Speaking of people I hope don't play, Sebastien Squillaci is back in full training! So...yeah! He will probably continue to never play, since pretty much every time he makes an appearance, something awful happens. He's the Scott Strickland of Arsenal (that's a really deep cut for the Mets fans out there).
On to competent players, Wenger says Andre Santos is fully fit. He evidently was fit enough to start against Newcastle, but the manager decided on Kieran Gibbs instead (as I think I probably would have as well, considering his recent form). It would be nice to see Santos come on late as defensive reinforcement against Everton, just to get some Premier League minutes under his belt.
Finally, there is new information on Francis Coquelin and Jack Wilshere. Le Coq is ahead and should be back in full training in the next couple of weeks. Wilshere, though, is more complicated. Wenger:
It is difficult to set a deadline on Jack. We go week by week with him. But his last scan was very good so we don’t have worry anymore. It is about progress and fitness, however I can’t set a date.
That's a lot of stuff. The first part is basically what's been said for a while - he's recovering, we don't know what's going to happen from one week to the next, so don't get your hopes up. But there seems to be a bit of guarded optimism in the rest of the statement. "We don't have to worry anymore" sounds very, very good, even among all the "we can't set a date" stuff, and talk of "progress and fitness" rather than healing makes it sound like the actual injury may finally be gone. Since I'm an injury pessimist, I will continue to assume that he's not playing meaningful minutes this season. But there is a glimmer of hope.
According to Wenger, the squad will be unchanged from the Newcastle match, and I would guess that means not just the same 11+7, but the same team starting. A run of games can preserve form, so this is a plan I can get behind.