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Selection quandary for Arsene Wenger as squad returns to fitness


Arsene Wenger could have a bit of a problem on his hands by the time we face Bolton on 20th October - but it's a dilemma he will welcome.

For the first time this season, Le Professor will have all but one of his first team squad back in full training today, as Arsenal’s physio team, led by England’s No.1 Gary Lewin, release the players from the confines of the treatment room.

“[Jens] Lehmann came back into full training today,” Wenger told Arsenal TV Online yesterday. “[William] Gallas should be in full training tomorrow. [Tomas] Rosicky and [Alexandre] Song as well. Physically they are all better. But all of them will be short to be considered for Sunday. The only one completely out though is Eduardo."

Eduardo is sidelined with an ankle knock, but he is expected to recover quickly and is included in the Croatia squad that faces Israel on 13th October.

And the news is equally good among his team mates, meaning that we might just, touch wood, have a fully fit first team squad for the first time this season when Bolton visit in two weeks time...

Lehmann and Gallas are short of match fitness and are unlikely to feature in the Arsenal squad to face Sunderland on Sunday, but the fact that they have both recovered from their troublesome injuries (Gallas groin, Lehmann Achilles and elbow) is good news for both their club and countries.

Elsewhere, the players that were subjected to late fitness tests ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash in Bucharest - Emmanuel Adebayor, Alexander Hleb, Mathieu Flamini, Emmanuel Eboue and Abou Diaby - all came through that game unscathed and no other injuries were picked up.

Tomas Rosicky has recovered from his hamstring strain and is also back in full training and Alexandre Song has shaken off his calf injury and will be as keen as the rest of his colleagues to impress Le Gaffer in training today.

All of which is fantastic news for Wenger. However, as usual when the planets all seem to be coming into alignment, there’s one fatal flaw: an international break. So all the good work that Lewin’s physio, fitness and therapy staff have done during the past few weeks could be undone by the exertions of players competing for their countries.

Arsenal were lucky only to sustain one injury - Lehmann’s elbow - during the last international stint. Let’s hope we can be even luckier next week.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on October 5, 2007 10:15 AM in News| Players
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