Arsenal star gunning to be fit for Manchester United clash

Key defender Johan Djourou could be available for title showdown

JOHAN Djourou could be fit for Arsenal’s pivotal clash with Manchester United on May 1 after being told his shoulder injury does not need surgery.

The Swiss defender was initially ruled out for the rest of the season after dislocating his shoulder during the 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Old Trafford earlier this month.

However an Arsenal statement confirmed that after exploratory surgery, no major operation is necessary and the 24-year-old is in line to play again in May.

“The club can confirm the positive news that there isn’t a need for reconstructive surgery and Johan will now begin a period of rehabilitation on the shoulder before returning to training in around a month.”

That should mean he has a chance of facing United, who currently lead the Gunners by five points at the top of the Premier League, although Arsene Wenger’s side do have a game in hand.

And Djourou’s team-mate Jack Wilshere has denied that Arsenal have blown their chance after Saturday’s draw at West Bromwich Albion.

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“We showed great character to get back to 2-2, but we are disappointed we didn’t win,” said Wilshere. “But we got a point, which is good, and at least we didn’t lose.

“We are still second and I still feel we are the main challengers. In the dressing room we still believe we can win it.

“At the end of the day they {United] still have to come to the Emirates, and we are going to have to beat them there. That’s the biggest game we have to look forward to.

“Now we have to try and win every game up until then and then beat them in that game.”

And Wilshere hit back at the critics, who have claimed Arsenal lack leadership after crashing out of three competitions in the space of 14 days earlier this month.

“We have got great leaders out there – Nasri was brilliant when he went in the middle, Ramsey was brilliant in his first start, we have got great leaders like Robin [Van Persie] and we have got good character in this side.

“The boss told us we had shown character and we are a bit disappointed but we’ll look to come back strong after the international break now.”

Wilshere, one of 14 Gunners away on international duty, could start in England’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales in Cardiff.