England duo not fit to face Royals at the Emirates Stadium, while Gibbs and Diaby are doubts.
Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott will miss Arsenal’s crunch Premier League clash with Reading on Saturday, while About Diaby and Kieran Gibbs are doubtful.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger confirmed in his pre-match press conference that the club were being ‘cautious’ with Wilshere, who has missed the last two matches with an ankle injury.
The 22-year-old player was sidelined for 14 months with a stress fracture to his ankle before returning to action in October last year but Wenger said his current condition remained stable.
“Because of his [Wilshere’s] history we are a bit more cautious. It’s not better or worse,” said the Frenchman, when asked about the England international’s condition.
Wilshere missed England’s World Cup qualifier double header and the Three Lions struggled in his absence in the 1-1 draw with Montenegro.
Wenger denied that the playmaker needed protection but said England should not pin their hopes on Wilshere.
“The country doesn’t depend on one player. It would be too much pressure to say [England’s] future depends on him,” Wenger said.
“He doesn’t need special treatment. If he’s selected for England then he will go. We’ll rest him when needed. He has regular scans.”
The Arsenal boss added that he expected the 22-year-old to return to action in two weeks.
Meanwhile, Walcott will also miss the Royals’ visit after suffering a pelvic tear while on international duty with England and Gibbs, who is suffering from flu, is a doubt.
The French midfielder Diaby will undergo a late fitness test but Lukas Podolski (ankle), Bacary Sagna (knee) are fit.
The Gunners go into the match four points behind fourth-placed Tottenham but with a game in hand.