Arsenal’s head physio has confirmed that defensive duo Johan Djourou and Kieran Gibbs will return to first team training before the end of the season after overcoming potentially career threatening injuries.
Swiss international Djourou has not featured at all for Arsenal this term since rupturing knee ligaments in pre-season training while England under-21 international Gibbs has been sidelined since the end of last year after suffering a broken foot in the Champions League group stages. The duo have, along with Robin van Persie, represent the most long-standing absentees for the Gunners in a season dominated by serious injuries to Arsene Wenger’s squad.
Arsenal look likely to play the rest of the season without captain Cesc Fabregas, centre-back William Gallas and midfielder Aaron Ramsey, while Andrey Arshavin is set to miss the next three weeks with a calf problem.
Talking to the Arsenal official website, physio Colin Lewin gave an update on the fitness problems which have enveloped the Emirates stadium.
"Johan Djourou had a difficult problem with the cartilage in his knee joint. He has made virtually a full recovery and we expect him to train fully with the squad within the next fortnight, as will Kieran Gibbs. They have both made full recoveries from what could have been career-threatening injuries."
"Aaron will make a full recovery. Other footballers have suffered a similar injury. The surgery went very well and the early signs are very good. We don't expect Aaron to return until the early autumn. He has some metalwork in there and that provides the stability for the fracture. The specialists have encouraged him to walk and this weight-bearing will aid the fracture healing. It’s early days but the signs are very good.
"Robin will be joining the squad for full training imminently. That is a big boost for the club and to see Johan and Kieran training with the team in the next fortnight will give everyone a big lift."