Arsene Wenger says Laurent Koscielny should be fit to face Crystal Palace on Saturday despite sustaining a knock to his Achilles.
The French international went off at half-time of Sunday’s 3-0 Community Shield victory to be replaced by Nacho Monreal and it had been suggested the Spanish left-back could retain his central berth for the season opener.
“Koscielny had a knock on his Achilles but he should be available for Saturday,” Wenger told Arsenal Player on Thursday.
Given Per Mertesacker is unavailable having just returned from his post-World Cup holiday and Thomas Vermaelen is no longer on the books it’s just as well Kos is available, his experience marshalling things next to young Calum Chambers is much needed.
In other fitness news, the boss revealed that Abou Diaby is back in full training but that a few other names are still fighting their way back to fitness.
“Diaby’s back in full training – that’s good news. He needs to play a few games but this week he looked good in training. Ospina is two or three weeks away. He has a thigh strain from the Brazil vs Colombia game.
“Ryo is very close after injury and Theo is, as I always said, end of August or start of September. That is back into training of course.”
Serge Gnabry who has barely featured in pre-season appears to be a more long-term absentee with Wenger unable to put a date on his return.
“He is not ready as well. I am not sure about the timeframe at the moment,” he said of the young German.
It remains to be seen whether Gnabry’s injury scuppers a loan move before the close of the summer transfer window.