Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Gabriel Paulista may be ready to return to action for the Premier League trip to Manchester United on 28 February after the centre-back previously revealed he is "almost 100% recovered" from an injury. But the French boss confirmed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be on the sidelines at Old Trafford alongside long-term injury trio Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky.
Gabriel has missed the last three matches, against Leicester City, Hull City and Barcelona, after he picked up a hamstring injury during a training session before the game verses the Foxes. The centre-back returned to his homeland for a few days to receive treatment at former club Vitória but will be back with the rest of the squad on 26 February and could be ready to face United.
"He is coming back into the squad tomorrow, so we will see how he responds to that, but the signs are positive. He might be available for Sunday," Wenger said to the Arsenal website after Gabriel's comments on his injury progress.
But the news about Oxlade-Chamberlain is less optimistic after Wenger confirmed he will definitely miss the trip to Manchester United.
The Mirror recently reported that the England international could be out until the end of March following a collision with Javier Mascherano during the 2-0 defeat against Barcelona. The reports claimed there are fears Oxlade-Chamberlain has damaged ligaments, meaning he could miss a big chunk of Arsenal's title run-in, with the Gunners having a crucial derby with Tottenham Hotspur on 5 March after a midweek home game against Swansea.
Wenger has confirmed the midfielder is unavailable for the United game but refused to add more details other than news about a scan. "He has a scan today, he will not be available for Sunday," he said.
The Arsenal manager confirmed there are no new injury concerns following the defeat against Barcelona but long-term absentees Rosicky, Cazorla and Wilshere remain on the sidelines. "Everyone else is the same as before, so there's no Rosicky, Cazorla, Wilshere," he said, adding: "[Wilshere] He is not back in full training yet."