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Arsenal Christmas Fitness Update

As we head into the most pointlessly busy part of the season, who's ready to play?

Is that the sound of guys getting healthy I hear?
Is that the sound of guys getting healthy I hear?
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Ah, the Christmas period. A time when most leagues wind down so that players can both spend time away from the game a bit and get their bodies healthy and rested for the second half of the season. A time for reflection on the year gone by, a time to relax with your loved ones.

Unless you're an English football player, that is. For the Premier League, the Christmas period is a time when the fat old men who run the thing looked at the calendar, said "Hey everyone's off work between Christmas and New Years, so let's play a ton of games!" and then crammed as much football into a single week as is humanly possible - which means, for instance, Arsenal play league games on the 26th, 28th, and January 1st, before kicking off their FA Cup campaign on the 4th.

With a squad as injury stretched as Arsenal's, that's bad news - players can't rotate and are probably getting a bit worn down, and so many games in such a small window doesn't help. Some news today from the mothership on Arsenal's health situation, though, and this time it's...not the best, but it's sorta good. To wit:

Tomas Rosicky and Yaya Sanogo will be available, and Hector Bellerin may be. David Ospina's back on the bench. Ramsey could be back in time for Southampton on the 1st, and while Arteta "won't play before January", he is "progressing well".

The best news, though, is that of Theo Walcott. He's basically recovered, but from the sounds of it trying to round into match fitness, as Wenger says "he basically hasn't played since January" so it'll be a bit before he's shaken off all the rust and is ready to go full speed, but that day is coming very, very soon.

Of course, this being Arsenal, there's also bad news; Mikel Arteta's out till early January, a month longer than anticipated, after his injury against Dortmund in November.

It's very much an all-hands-on-deck situation with the crowded fixtures, and it sounds like more hands will be available soon. IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! or something like that.