Arsenal will welcome back Cesc Fabregas after three months out with a knee injury for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash against Manchester City, but must do without leading scorer Robin van Persie.
The Gunners captain has not featured since December 21. However, along with fit-again England winger Theo Walcott and Togo frontman Emmanuel Adebayor, he is now back in contention as Arsene Wenger takes his men into the defining period of the campaign.
"Cesc is ready to play again, but he needs three games to be back [at his best]," Wenger said. "We are due to play eight games in 25 days, which are all decisive."
The Arsenal manager has, though, been left counting the cost of the international break.
Van Persie returned early from the Holland camp, but has failed to recover from a groin injury, while fellow striker Eduardo is also out with a similar problem.
Midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) is another who will not feature against City. Samir Nasri returned with a virus and Carlos Vela has to make a long journey back from Mexico duty.
Denmark forward Nicklas Bendtner, though, should be okay after concern over a knee problem, while Adebayor scored on his first game back since the start of February with a hamstring injury as Togo beat Cameroon in a World Cup qualifier - leaving Wenger with a mixed bag of news.
"Three players are out and there is a question mark over Nasri, but Fabregas, Adebayor and Walcott are all back and available in the squad," said the Arsenal manager.
"Nicklas texted us on Wednesday night and said everything was all right with him, but Carlos Vela, I count out because he lands on Friday morning at 10.30am. However if needed he can be in the squad."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms