Wenger delivers fitness update on Arsenal quartet

Matt Stead

Arsene Wenger says Hector Bellerin could return for Arsenal against Stoke on Saturday.

The Gunners host their Premier League rivals with the hope of closing Chelsea’s three-point gap at the top of the table.

They have not tasted defeat in the league since the opening day, and have scored 12 goals in their last four games in all competitions.

Bellerin could be in contention for a recall after being sidelined since early November with an ankle injury.

“Coming back into the squad we have Coquelin who was suspended, and maybe Bellerin who has a fitness test today,” said Wenger.

The Frenchman then delivered updates on both Danny Welbeck and Per Mertesacker, who are hoping to return to the first team in the new year, if not earlier.

“They are recovering well, but they are a few weeks away to join in again,” he added.

Santi Cazorla faces a longer spell on the sidelines, having undergone surgery on his ankle last week.

But Wenger remains positive on the Spaniard’s health, stating: “For me it’s to say any surgery is perfect, but you can say it was needed and it went well.

“After that you have to see how he recovers. I’m positive he will recovery very quickly, but once you open your body at top level sport it means that it’s two months before you can play again.”