Arsenal striker Van Persie sets return date
Arsenal forward Robin van Persie could return to action from a muscular problem at the end of next week.
The 24-year-old has not played a full game in three months but is a possibility for the Premier League clash against Birmingham on January 12 at the Emirates Stadium.
He has already been ruled out of the FA Cup tie at Burnley on Sunday.
'Robin van Persie is still injured and will not be involved,' said Gunners boss Arsene Wenger. 'But it is very short for him now. The next deadline could be Birmingham or just after.'
Striker Emmanuel Adebayor has a slight hamstring injury but can play at Turf Moor if required.
Wenger anticipates Jens Lehmann being involved, despite the 38-year-old goalkeeper being linked with a move back to Germany.
'I think Jens Lehmann will be involved,' the Frenchman said.
Lehmann was dropped towards the start of the season following a blunder against Blackburn - and he has played for Germany more times since.
Manuel Almunia has established himself as Wenger's first choice after a run of form that has seen him suggested as a possible England goalkeeper when he qualifies for residency.
Wenger also has Poland youngster Lukasz Fabianski, who has only been used in the Carling Cup since arriving from Legia Warsaw in the summer.
Wenger has previously suggested William Gallas and Gael Clichy would be rested for the Burnley clash, while Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Bacary Sagna will play.
He told Arsenal TV Online: 'Kolo Toure, Eboue and Sagna will all play. A few of the players who featured all over Christmas will be rested and a few will come in. It will be a mixture.'