Kieran Gibbs Injury: Updates on Arsenal Star's Ankle and Return

Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2014

Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs runs with the ball during their English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates stadium in London, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Alastair Grant

Updates from Sunday, May 11

Kieran Gibbs is confirmed for today's match, Arsenal announced:

Updates from Thursday, May 8

Kieran Gibbs is available for Arsenal's final game of the season at Norwich.

Arsene Wenger reported, via the club's official Twitter:


Updates from Friday, May 1

Kieran Gibbs remains sidelined for Sunday's clash between Arsenal and West Brom.

Arsene Wenger reported, via the club's official Twitter:


Updates from Thursday, April 17

After his brief reintroduction to the Arsenal team, Kieran Gibbs is once again unavailable for Sunday's trip to Hull.

Arsenal's official Twitter noted:


Original Text

Arsenal is without full-back Kieran Gibbs for the team's all-important Premier League fixture against Everton on Sunday, as the England international is struggling with an ankle injury. 

The news was confirmed by the club's official website, as Gibbs was listed amongst the players who wouldn't be available for the trip to Goodison Park:

We have a slight problem with Gibbs (ankle) and Serge Gnabry (knee) will not be available. But the squad should be stable compared to what it was against Man City.

His name was also missing from the official teamsheet, per Arsenal's official Twitter account:

The injury to Gibbs is the latest in a series of setbacks that has the Gunners fighting to keep control of the fourth spot on the EPL table and the final UEFA Champions League ticket that comes with it, as Everton have gained on the North Londoners in recent weeks.

And with a direct showdown between both clubs on tap, coach Arsene Wenger could have used his preferred left back. As reported by the BBC's Alistair Magowan, Nacho Monreal will be Gibbs' direct replacement:

Some fans seemed to think the injury to Gibbs may have been a good thing:

But with the ever dangerous Seamus Coleman in firm control of Everton's right wing, the superior athleticism of Gibbs would have been a far better matchup than the silky smooth Monreal.

As superfan Sam shared, Wenger told reporters the problem with Gibbs' ankle was 'slight,' possibly indicating the full-back could be making his return to the pitch very soon.

But as Gooner Updates reports, replacement Monreal isn't 100 percent fit either, and a potential injury to the Spanish wing-back could spell doom for the Gunners as the club is quickly running out of available options:

Arsenal have struggled with injuries all season, to the point it has been suggested Wenger's training methods may be at fault for the large amount of players missing time.

The Guardian's David Hytner reports the French coach blames the use of certain legal supplements. During an ongoing internal review, Wenger was quoted saying:

Some of them [muscle injuries] are down to the medication that the players take that you don't even know about. Then you realise afterwards that they took this medication but that's not prudent."

(...) Certain medication could affect the liver and then it doesn't work as well ... the toxins don't go as quickly out of the body as they should and they [the players] get tired.

Club officials must hope they can find the cause as quickly as possible, before even more injuries further derail Arsenal's season.

With the Gunners facing a real battle for the final Champions League ticket, the club will need Gibbs to return to full health as soon as possible. Should the England international be out for an extended period of time, the club will have to rely on Monreal as the only healthy left-back available, and the word "healthy" might be stretching it.

And with Everton right on Arsenal's heels, this latest injury could be the final straw that sees the Toffees overtake the Gunners in the race for fourth.