According to reports from the BBC’s David Ornstein, Arsenal centre back Gabriel Paulista is set to spend 6-8 weeks on the side-line. The defender suffered an ankle sprain during the pre-season friendly against Manchester City.
The Brazilian posted an Instagram photo this morning playing down the seriousness of the injury stating:
“Today I feel much better, is not a big problem thanks my fans”.
However it looks like the player will not be able to play for the Gunners for the best part of two months. This injury means that the North London club are even lighter at the back; with Per Mertesacker out until 2017 with a knee injury, whilst Laurent Koscielny only returned to pre-season training yesterday after playing for France in the Euros.
The Gunners have had a major interest in two German centre backs Shkodran Mustafi and Lukas Klostermann, though it looks like there is certainly more interest in Mustafi and that deal could be wrapped up as soon as this week.
Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere are set to play their second game for Arsenal’s under-21s on Thursday, as they come closer to full match fitness. Wilshere has been out for more than 240 days and Rosicky more than 211.
Both Arsenal midfielders suffered severe injuries this season; hamstring and ankle injuries respectively. The Czech and the Englishman both played for the Arsenal U21’s as they beat Newcastle United 3-1 last week in the U21 league.
The U21’s beat Derby County 2-1 in the league on Monday and only need to secure three points from their remaining two games to earn automatic promotion as Division 2 champions.
Arsenal currently has three more players out injured in: Mathieu Flamini, Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who are set to return any day now. The Gunners have had 39 injuries this year with the Arsenal players loosing 1,540 days due to injury this season alone.
With Arsenal’s first choice keeper Peter Cech currently out with a hamstring injury, the last thing Wenger needed was another injury to a player of that position. However it looks like David Ospina has managed to pick up a injury while on international duty.
The Colombian had to be helped off the pitch after his side picked up a 3-2 win over Bolivia. Ospina seemed to pick up a knock against Everton at the weekend when he collided with Romelu Lukaku, but played on for the rest of the game.
Ospina is currently filling in for Peter Cech who picked up a hamstring injury against Swansea at the start of this month, However the goalkeeper was expected to be out for four weeks, to return after the international break.
The Gunners are allowing Alexis Sanchez to travel back to his homeland of Chile for a week of rest as he looks to recover from the hamstring strain he picked up during the draw against Norwich.
In an interview with Radio Tele13 on Tuesday, Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli said:
“We have contacted the medical team at Arsenal, who gave him a week of treatment in Chile.
“We have to see how it is [the injury] to know how quickly he can recover, but we are aware of everything and we’ll see if we can contribute to Alexis getting back on the pitch sooner.”
The Arsenal manager says Francis Coquelin’s injury is a “good opportunity” for his teammates to to prove their quality.
It was confirmed on Monday that Arsenal will be without the French defensive midfielder for “at least a month” after Coquelin sustained a knee injury in the 2-1 defeat to West Brom.
Wenger has Mathieu Flamini as a ready-made replacement, however he goes on to say that he will also consider Calum Chambers:
“We don’t know yet [how big a blow it is to lose Coquelin],”
“It is of course a disappointment to lose him on the longer term but we have players who can compensate. We have lost a player of quality for a while and we know this can happen during the season.
“We have players who play in this position, like Flamini. We have players like Chambers [too], because he has been educated as a central midfielder.
“Sometimes this is a good opportunity for other players to turn up and show they can do the job.”
The Frenchman also confirmed that Aaron Ramsey will be available again after a month out with a hamstring injury, but is likely not to play him against Zagreb.
“I have 24 more hours [to decide],” he said. “He’s had just one training session with the team and of course that’s a bit risky. But I haven’t completely decided yet.”