LONDON - Arsenal will lose Aaron Ramsey for a month amid their injury crisis but manager Arsene Wenger revealed with relief that another key midfielder, Jack Wilshere, is fit to play a part in Wednesday's Champions League fixture against Galatasaray.
As he reiterated the extent of Arsenal's current injury woes at a news conference on Tuesday, Wenger confirmed he would have to do without Ramsey and captain Mikel Arteta, both injured against Tottenham on Saturday, and Abou Diaby, returning from long-term injury, for the Group D game.
Yet he had more positive news of England international Wilshere, who had also been a doubt after turning an ankle against Spurs but was back in training on Tuesday at the club's London Colney training base.
"Jack Wilshere is in the squad for tomorrow," Wenger was delighted to report. "Will I start him? I don't know yet, but he's in the squad." Doubtless, his final decision will be taken with half an eye on another big London derby at the weekend against Chelsea.
Also read: Ramsey doubtful for Man City clash
Ramsey's longer-term absence with hamstring trouble will be a blow to both club and country, though, as Wenger noted that he would miss Wales's forthcoming European Championship qualifiers.
"To be generous with time, let's say four weeks; if all goes well, three. After the international break, hopefully it will not be far. Sometimes the international break is welcome," said Wenger.
"It is the same with Arteta (calf injury), even a bit quicker maybe. I left out Abou Diaby (thigh), as well, because he's not completely there yet."
Wenger, though, was still left feeling upbeat as he announced that Theo Walcott was set to return to training next week as he continues his recovery from the anterior cruciate ligament injury that has sidelined him since January.
"It's very good news," Wenger said. "It's a big thing for us. Let's not forget that Theo got injured on Jan. 1 and we are now in October. That's 10 months and we had to wait for a long time. Hopefully, now we will have no more setbacks."
Wenger has further reason to cheer, with France striker Olivier Giroud, currently recovering from a broken leg, having now agreed an extension to his Arsenal deal.
Yet his immediate priority is only to ensure Arsenal's Champions League push gathers some momentum as they lie bottom of their group following the dismal 2-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund.
"It is early, but we are maybe more under pressure to win the game than if we had won the first. But it is always the same in the Champions League - you want to win your home games," said Wenger.
Victory would be the only way for him to properly celebrate the 18th anniversary of his arrival as Arsenal manager.
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