Gibbs’ time on the sidelines will continue.

The Arsenal left-back has been sitting out of action since the 3-1 victory at West Ham a month ago when he limped off with a thigh injury and ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Fulham, Gibbs has been ruled out yet again.

The return of the English international would have been much welcomed after the terrible form of his deputy Andre Santos forced the Brazilian to be dropped to the bench for Thomas Vermaelen against Schalke 04 on Tuesday night.

Gibbs, who only turned 23 in September, has seen his Arsenal career blighted by constant injury problems season after season, but he has filled the gap at left-back solidly when available and that has earned him a call-up for England on a couple of occasions.

The former Wimbledon boy is still requiring more weeks to recover from his thigh problem, and with Arsenal short of options, Vermaelen is likely to continue being deployed at left-back.

Arsene Wenger could also welcome back his first-choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who has been back in training for two weeks now following a spell out with injury. But the Arsenal boss insists that a return of the Pole will not leave him in a dilemma over whether to drop Vito Mannone to the bench or not.

“We’ll see. I don’t look too much for coming problems. In my job you don’t miss problems.” Wenger said.

“You miss more solutions, that (goalkeeper selection) at the moment is not a big problem. Mannone had a good game, he had a good game in Manchester for me as well. It is good, very interesting. His confidence gets better in every game.”

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