Arsene Wenger remains optimistic that Jack Wilshere will be ready to return to action in late December after the injury-plagued Arsenal stalwart underwent successful surgery to correct a hairline fracture in his left leg. The Gunners boss has also provided an update on the fitness of Francis Coquelin, who missed the Capital One Cup victory over north London rivals Tottenham on 23 September with a swollen knee.
The failure to recruit another defensive midfielder during a notably quiet summer transfer window in which Arsenal were the only club across Europe's top five leagues not to sign an outfield player has resulted in Coquelin becoming one of Wenger's most important assets.
His absence from the changed side that won 2-1 at White Hart Lane to set up a fourth round trip to Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday was not as keenly felt as it might have been thanks to a very rare brace from replacement Mathieu Flamini, although the manager will feel a certain sense of relief that his absence will not be prolonged.
Confirming that his compatriot will miss the upcoming Premier League trip to unbeaten Leicester, the manager told a press conference as relayed by The Telegraph: "Coquelin is improving well but will not be available. He might start practising tomorrow."
Wenger added that Coquelin will have a scan on his injury later on Friday but believes he may only have suffered bone bruising. As for Wilshere, he added: "Wilshere has had his operation. It went well. He will be back in December, around Christmas."
One player whose status for the visit to the King Power Stadium remains uncertain is Gabriel. Although the centre-back saw his appeal against the red card and three-match suspension received for his involvement in an ugly clash with retrospectively banned Chelsea striker Diego Costa during Arsenal's disappointing 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge upheld, he still faces a second Football Association (FA) charge for alleged improper conduct concerning his heated reaction to referee Mike Dean.
"Gabriel's case will be heard today," Wenger confirmed. "We are hopeful [he won't be receive a further ban]. I prefer the action to be taken on the pitch. He was sorry about what had happened. He is a fighter. In training he was completely focused."