Treatment room comings and goings are providing an unwanted additional challenge in the early part of the season. No sooner had Wenger finished telling us that it was a big relief that the injury Kieran Gibbs sustained to his right foot playing for the England U21`s wasn`t to keep him out for long than we were to learn that the left back is to now be out for 3 months due to a broken metatarsal in his left foot.
The injury room can barely have been busier with almost three quarters of the first team squad missing playing time in the first 3 months of the season. Niggling injuries are part and parcel of the game but in many cases these have been protracted injuries with Denilson, Clichy, Nasri, Djourou, van Persie, Bendtner, Walcott and Fabianski all having undergone or currently spending long periods in the treatment room.
We may not suffer more injuries than many other teams but we rarely seem to suffer less. Maybe it just seems that way and other teams are affected as much but they can have a profound effect on the season`s ambitions depending when and where they hit the team. It is unfortunate that Gibbs should collect his injury in added time at the end of last night`s game while Clichy is still 2 to 3 weeks away from a return but there seems to be a possibility that Gael will be back for the away game at Liverpool in the middle of next month. In fact the Chelsea game apart we do have a run of less challenging encounters before then with the Carling Cup and remaining Champions League games a chance for fringe and youth players to share the burden.
The revolving door on the treatment room brought the welcome return of Denilson to the team who capped a good all round performance with a long distance strike similar to his opening goal of the season away to Everton. Bendtner is a couple of weeks away according to the last injury update and Gallas is expected to be available for the weekend game at home to Chelsea. Sadly we shan`t see Robin van Persie much before the end of the year.
Squad depth is important in such times as these but there is little that can be done when, as often seems to be the case, injuries are focussed in the same position. We are left with some thinking to do about the left back role in advance of the Chelsea game and our forward choices aren`t automatic but hopefully the boss will tell the players to go easy on the tackling in pre-match training over the next couple of days. We could do without a break for once.
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