Arsenal have been handed a triple injury boost with Alexis Sanchez expected to make a comeback against Sunderland in the FA Cup on Saturday (9 January), while Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky have returned to training. The Gunners have had a lengthy injury list going into the New Year but the manager will hope to reduce that list in the coming weeks.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Chilean international, who has not featured for the Emirates Stadium outfit since their draw against Norwich City at the end of November, is likely to be given an outing against the relegation threatened club when the Gunners begin their defence of the FA Cup. The former Barcelona star, who has had a relatively slow start to his second season in English football, was expected to return for the clash against Manchester City on 22 December but aggravated his hamstring injury during training to push back his return by a further two weeks.
Arteta and Rosicky, who are back to training with the first-team, are likely to miss out on the clash against Sunderland due to their lack of match fitness but it will be a big boost for the Gunners boss, who is still without Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere in the midfield department.
The former, however, has a chance to feature against the Stadium of Light outfit after returning to training last week from a calf injury suffered at the end of November, while the latter, who returned to training after a long absence, is yet to kick the ball in anger this season due to a knee injury suffered before the start of the campaign in June.
The current Premier League leaders face a daunting list of fixtures in January and with the Frenchman prioritising the league this season, the reports claims that he is likely to rest a number of key players for the clash against the Black Cats. Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech, Hector Bellerin, Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott are expected to be given the weekend off as they prepare for clashes against Liverpool, Stoke City and Chelsea in the coming weeks.