By DAN KARELL
The supposed “minor injury” that has kept Arsenal winger Theo Walcott out for the past two months has reportedly healed itself, leaving the England international fit for this weekend’s action.
In his pre-match press conference, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger declared Walcott fit to return to first team action, and Walcott looks set to be thrown straight into the game-day squad without any games under his belt when Southampton visit the Emirates on Saturday.
“Theo will be back for Saturday in the squad,” Wenger told Arsenal’s website. “He’s completely fit again. He has not played for a long time, of course, he has not played even a reserve team game, but I will put him in the squad on Saturday. Yes [I will use him cautiously].
Wenger also updated press in attendance on the status of other injured players, saying that German winger Lukas Podolski is around three weeks away from a return, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be back in one month. Yaya Sanogo won’t be back until January at the earliest and Abou Diaby is set for a return in March, though timelines for him are always tentative.
In a separate report, Wenger said that he’ll have to manage the minutes of Jack Wilshere for the rest of the season to make sure his banged-up ankle doesn’t flare up with another injury again.
Here are some more stories to get your Friday kicked off:
BALE CLAIMS HE’S 100 PERCENT FIT
According to Gareth Bale himself, his injury problems are behind him.
The Real Madrid winger, at an Adidas promotional event, said that his leg muscle problems are behind him and with a few months to adapt and build up a fitness base, he’s ready to go forward from this point.
“My adaptation at Real Madrid is going well,” Bale told Marca. “I feel comfortable with my teammates and with the team. Everyone has been very welcoming. Now, after my small injury, I’m completely recovered.”
The Welsh international played just three times for Real Madrid in his first month and a half after sitting out of nearly all of Tottenham’s preseason prior to his move to the Spanish capital. Since then, and since sitting out the October international fixtures to recover from injury, Bale has made a further seven appearances with three goals scored.
FIFA have opened proceedings on Croatia Joe Simunic after he lead fans in a chant that was once used by a pro-Nazi regime in Croatia, a move that’s already cost Simunic 25,000 Croatian kuna ($4,400). (REPORT)
Barcelona right back Dani Alves is set to miss at least ten days with a small tear in his right leg. (REPORT)
Juventus are interested in a January loan for Paris Saint-Germain winger Lucas Moura, who has struggled for playing time under Laurent Blanc. (REPORT)
Swansea City are interested in signing Espanyol and Mexico National Team defender Hector Moreno and nearly signed him last summer. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you see Walcott earning a starting place in the Arsenal lineup on Saturday? Do you see Bale contributing as well as he did for Tottenham from this point on?
Share your thoughts below.