Arsene Wenger has been dealt a heavy blow in the goalkeeping department, after Polish internationals Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski were both reported to have suffered injury setbacks.
The pair of goalkeepers - the Gunners' first and second choice respectively - have struggled with long-term injuries this season and aggravated their ankle injuries, leaving Wenger only Italian Vito Mannone as a senior goalkeeper ahead of high-profile fixtures including a Champions League double-header against German side Schalke 04 and a trip to Old Trafford to play Manchester United. Reserve team goalkeepers Damien Martinez and James Shea have been called up to practise with the first team in the event of an injury to the Italian.
A Daily mail report states Fabianski was injured during recuperative training and is likely to be out for a further three months, after rupturing ankle ligaments. Szczesny remains at least three weeks away from any sort of match fitness but he too has reportedly been dealt a blow, according to Goal.com.
Wilshere and Sagna Continue Recovery
Meanwhile, there is some good news for Gunners' fans, with reports England midfielder Jack Wilshere and French international Bacary Sagna continue to make good progress in their comeback from long-term injuries. The 20 year old Wilshere has not played competitive football for 14 months, after a series of injuries blighted his career, while Sagna, 29, is recovering from a broken leg at Norwich City last season.
Goal.com reports Wilshere is set to make a return to the first team on 30 October, in a League Cup game against Reading, after playing for the Gunners' youth teams to test match fitness. He was most recently involved in a friendly with Chelsea, at London Colney, which the Blues' side won 2-0. The important thing for Arsenal, though, was both Wilshere and Sagna completed a trouble-free 90 minutes.
Also involved in the game against the Chelsea XI was Ghanaian midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong, who is recovering from a horrific double injury to his cruciate ligaments. The 20 year old also played a trouble-free 90 minutes, meaning that the injuries to his goalkeepers aside, Wenger could be set to welcome back a number of first team players ahead of run of important games.