Gunners hopeful over injured duo

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Arsenal could see both centre-half Johan Djourou and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny back in action for the climax of their Barclays Premier League title bid.

The Gunners are hopeful Switzerland defender Djourou could be back in training within a month after an exploratory procedure revealed there was no need for reconstructive surgery on the shoulder he dislocated against Manchester United in the FA Cup.

Szczesny, meanwhile, is set for another scan on his injured hand at the start of April, which if all goes well could see the young Pole in contention for what is set to be a crunch showdown with Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on May 1.

The 20-year-old has had his finger placed in a protective splint since suffering the freak injury when saving a free-kick against Barcelona in their Champions League clash at the Nou Camp earlier this month.

"There is not a lot of joint damage, the tendon is ruptured, so basically I have to keep my finger in a splint for four weeks and let the tendon heal," Szczesny told Arsenal TV Online.

"From then it will be a couple of weeks before I can be back in the squad.

"It is very hard, especially at a time when it was going well for me, but there is nothing you can do when it happens - you have to move on, work hard on your fitness and make sure you come back stronger than ever."

Szczesny's injury led to veteran Jens Lehmann making a shock return to his old club and it remains to be seen whether the German will be chosen ahead of Manuel Almunia for the Gunners' next game following the Spaniard's blunder against West Brom.

Although Saturday's 2-2 draw with the relegation-battlers meant they lost more ground on the leaders, Arsene Wenger's men are still very much in hunt for the title.

However, while nine straight victories from here on in - including their game in hand at arch-rivals Tottenham and then United - would secure a first championship since 2004, there is now also no more margin for error.

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Tottenham Hotspur
West Bromwich Albion
European News
Jens Lehmann
Johan Djourou
Premier League
Manuel Almunia
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Wojciech Szczesny
FA Cup
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