Arsenal's injury crisis, which threatened to derail their season, is slowly but surely easing, with Danny Welbeck being the latest player to make a successful return from injury during the Gunners' last gasp win over Leicester City to remain in the Premier League title race. The England international striker made his first appearance in over 10 months and capped it off by scoring the winner in the final minute of the game.
According to the London Evening Standard, the former Manchester United striker, who played 11 minutes against the Foxes, is set to make his first start since April 2015 when the north London club welcome Hull City in the fifth round of the FA Cup to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday (20 February). Laurent Koscielny is also expected to be available for the clash after the defender made a quick recovery from a dead leg, which saw him substituted at half-time during the Gunners' 2-1 win over Leicester.
But Wenger, however, is likely to rest the French international in order to keep him fresh for the crunch Champions League clash against Barcelona on Tuesday (23 February) and deploy Calum Chambers alongside Per Mertesacker.
Welbeck was a surprise inclusion in the squad to face the league leaders, as Wenger had indicated that the striker will play a couple of games for the reserve side before making it back to the first team. The Frenchman, however, reneged on his decision and fielded him after he convinced his manager during the training sessions prior to the game.
"Yes, on Friday morning I was not convinced that I would include him in the squad, because I planned to play him next week," the French manager said, as quoted on Arsenal's official site.
"I was going to give him one more week training but his last two training sessions were so convincing that I decided to include him. It paid off today, and we are all very pleased for him."
Wenger is expected to make a raft of changes to the first team ahead of Hull's visit, as one eye will firmly be on the Catalan giants' visit. Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez could be given a breather with Welbeck and Joel Campbell taking over the goal scoring burden for the visit of the Tigers.
Meanwhile, Gabriel Paulista, who failed to make the squad for the clash against the Foxes after suffering a muscular injury during training, has now returned to Brazil to undergo treatment. The Gunners also have Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and long-term absentee Tomas Rosicky on the injured list, with the former two expected to return to training shortly.