Wenger gives injury updates on Sanchez and Welbeck

Matt Stead

Arsene Wenger has issued injury updates on Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and Mikel Arteta ahead of the FA Cup third round.

Arsenal face Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, with the game having been previously earmarked for a potential return from injury for Sanchez. The Chilean pulled a hamstring against Norwich at the end of November and has not featured since.

Wenger said, of Sanchez’s recovery: “Sanchez is a bit short, but he is not far. I hope that he can get a persistent presence. We’re going into a run of games where we need everybody.

The Frenchman then ruled the forward out of Arsenal’s next Premier League game, against Liverpool next Wednesday: “Liverpool will come too soon. Maybe he will be back for Stoke (the following Sunday).”

Wenger then issued a prognosis on Danny Welbeck, who has not featured for the Gunners this season due to a knee injury.

When asked on a possible return date, Wenger replied: “Welbeck will be three to four weeks.”

Wenger added that Mikel Arteta “is available” against Sunderland after playing 45 minutes in an Under-21 game on Tuesday. Tomas Rosicky, out with a knee injury since June, “is not far away”.