Arsenal will be boosted by the return of centre-back pair Per Mertesacker and Gabriel for Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Watford, although Arsene Wenger has admitted fears over Aaron Ramsey’s fitness.
Mertesacker and Gabriel were both forced off during Tuesday’s fifth-round replay win over Hull, with the German defender suffering a blow to the head and Gabriel picking up a hamstring problem.
But Wenger insists neither player suffered major problems, while also revealing that Laurent Koscielny is closing in on a return and has a small chance of featuring against the Hornets.
“Koscienly is not far,” Wenger told Arsenal.com.
“He will have tests until Sunday but it could come too soon, he has a little chance.
“We had a few injuries at Hull. Mertesacker and Gabriel are positive, there is nothing wrong there, they are both good.”
But Wenger remains unsure about Ramsey, after the Welshman also hobbled off with a thigh strain against the Tigers.
“There is a small alert [with Ramsey],” said the French boss. “We don’t know how bad it is.”
Goalkeeper Petr Cech [calf], Jack Wilshere [ankle] and fellow midfielder Santi Cazorla [knee] are all nearing returns, but the Hornets clash comes too soon for them.
Wenger added: “They are all progressing nicely, but this week and next week they have no chance.”