Arsene Wenger has revealed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is facing a further rest period in a bid to help the midfielder get over his groin problem.
Missing the first part of the season after picking up a knee injury on the opening day against Aston Villa, Oxlade-Chamberlain has been struggling with a niggling groin problem for a few weeks.
Left out of the side for Monday night’s game against Newcastle United after failing a late fitness test, Wenger told the media
“He [Oxlade-Chamberlain] has an inflammation of his groin. He couldn’t practise. I put him on Friday on the team sheet and played him when he was needed, but it came to a point where it didn’t progress. We decided to give him a complete rest for two weeks. Will he be involved with me [for Arsenal before the end of the season]? I think he has a chance. But will he be ready for England? I think so.”
Wenger also could not offer reassurances about Jack Wilshere’s return to competitive action. The midfielder has been out since the start of March with a broken foot which he suffered after a heavy tackle by Daniel Agger in an England friendly
“Jack is training already. When will he be ready? Honestly I cannot tell you exactly. Next week or the week after… at the moment the progress he’s making is good.”
The injury to his navicular bone in his left foot was supposed to keep him out for around six weeks. He has now been sidelined for eight.
Theo Walcott is also likely to return slightly later than expected. It had been hoped that the winger would be ready for the start of the season and maybe even be involved in pre-season for Arsenal, but it was revealed yesterday that he will not be back until after the season starts.
“I want to try and be back for the early part of next season. That’s the goal so there will be a lot of hard work throughout the summer and during the World Cup.
“It’s nearly been four months now and my recovery has gone on track so far. At the moment, I’m working on muscle strength and building muscle in my quad. I’ve got a lot of the flexion back and I’m always working on extension.
“A lot of the days are very similar but the four months have gone really quickly. I don’t see any point in being down in the dumps about the injury because it’s already happened and there are a lot of people with worse problems in the world.