Cesc unlikely to join returning duo

October 14, 2010

The Gunners boss has once again seen his options hit by injury, with Walcott - who had been in fine early-season form - sidelined after suffering ankle ligament damage when playing for England in Switzerland on September 7. Bendtner has not featured at all because of a niggling groin problem while Holland forward Robin van Persie managed only three appearances before suffering an ankle injury. Wenger revealed Walcott and Bendtner could both be back in the squad to face the Blues as Arsenal aim to halt a run of successive defeats in the Premier League which has left them seven points behind leaders Chelsea. Fabregas, though, may need more time to recover from a hamstring problem, despite declaring himself fit during the international break, but England left-back Kieran Gibbs is available after his calf injury. "We have some good news because for a while we have had only bad news," Wenger told Arsenal TV Online. "Nicklas Bendtner is back in the squad and Kieran Gibbs is back too. "Let's not forget that since last November Nicklas has produced here and there, but never had a consistent presence because of his injuries. "Apart from the fact he went to the World Cup we have not seen the real Nicklas Bendtner for a long, long time. "He is the closest he has been to his best for a while. "He was really, really handicapped by groin problems, but they have gone now." Wenger continued: "Theo might be involved on Saturday as well. He has normal training tomorrow. I might put him in the squad. "I will see how he is, but he looks very, very sharp. The only uncertainty is his ankle, but he might be involved. "Cesc is very, very short and unlikely to be involved [on Saturday]. He has a little chance for Tuesday [in the Champions League against Shakhtar Donetsk]." Despite the positive news on Bendtner and Walcott, Arsenal did lose right-back Bacary Sagna to a thigh problem picked up while away with France. Thomas Vermaelen (Achilles) has, like Van Persie, also not featured since before the last international break, and remains in rehabilitation, as does goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, who suffered an elbow injury during the during the shock 3-2 home defeat by West Brom. "Sagna is 10 days, Vermaelen is 10 days, Almunia is a question of days, but Van Persie looks to be a bit longer," Wenger said.