Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been boosted by the news that both Laurent Koscielny and Theo Walcott could return against Sunderland on Saturday.
While Koscielny suffered an issue in the 1-1 draw with Norwich City last weekend, Walcott has been out since October with a calf problem.
Wenger has seen his injury crisis worsen over the past week with both Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla expected to be sidelined for a significant period of time, after suffering hamstring and knee injuries respectively.
However, the French tactician was finally handed some good news this week as both Koscielny and Walcott should be able to feature this weekend.
“We will make a decision on Saturday on Koscielny and Walcott, they could both make the squad. Gibbs is available again for the weekend,” Wenger told the club’s official website.
“At the moment on Alexis, Santi and Mikel [Arteta], we don’t know how long they will be out for.”
The Gunners prepare for Sunderland hoping to cut down the two-point gap between themselves and joint league leaders Manchester City and Leicester City, and naturally they will hope that they can get their injured players back as soon as possible in order to sustain their title push.
Meanwhile, they also face a decisive clash against Olympiakos in the Champions League next week, as they must win in order to have any chance of advancing to the knockout stages of the competition.
Losing both Cazorla and Sanchez will be bitter blows for the club given that both players have been integral to their good form up to this point, and Wenger will certainly be hoping that they can return sooner rather than later.
However, he will undoubtedly be buoyed by the fact that Koscielny will potentially return to add some steel and leadership in his defence while Walcott’s pace and movement earlier in the campaign earned him significant praise as he led the Arsenal charge.