Arsenal star suffers injury setback but Gunners handed midfielder boost

first_img The England forward is also expected to miss the key Champions League clash with Dinamo Zagreb next week 1 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury, ruling him out of Arsenal’s Barclays Premier League clash at West Brom.The England forward, who suffered the injury in the Capital One Cup loss to Sheffield Wednesday, is also expected to miss the key Champions League clash with Dinamo Zagreb next Tuesday.Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said: “He had a slight little setback on Monday but we checked by scan and there is nothing wrong but he is still a fraction short for Saturday.”Aaron Ramsey – who has been absent since the October 20 win over Bayern Munich – is likely to be fit to face Dinamo but Oxlade-Chamberlain will be available for the following weekend’s clash with Norwich at the earliest.“Ramsey will be back in full training on Monday and can play on Tuesday and Chamberlain I think against Norwich,” Wenger added.Theo Walcott, who injured a calf in the same game as Oxlade-Chamberlain, is still continuing his rehabilitation.“Theo is ahead of schedule at the moment but he is still two weeks away,” Wenger added.It all piles more pressure on the likes of Alexis Sanchez, who was due to return from international duty with Chile around 36 hours prior to the match at the Hawthorns.Chile lost 3-0 to Uruguay after a 1-1 draw with Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina’s Colombia during the international hiatus.Sanchez is becoming ever more important to Arsenal and Wenger wishes to give him some time off, but is unable to at present.Asked if the former Barcelona forward will be granted some leave, Wenger said: “At some point yes. At the moment I am a bit short because (I have) no Chamberlain, no Ramsey, no Walcott, no (Jack) Wilshere, no (Danny) Welbeck.“There is not many offensive positions where I can rotate.“I am worried because when he went to Chile he was already a bit jaded and to see what state he will come back (in), I will have to test.“But speaking to the player, if I ask him ‘are you tired?’ you can guess the answer.”Sanchez will not be flying off on national service until March at the earliest, giving Wenger complete control over his welfare.“That is welcome that there is no international break now,” he added.There has been some good news on the injury front, with right-back Hector Bellerin available following a groin problem.last_img read more

Owens on verge of major-league status

first_imgJerry Owens’ baseball career appeared finished when he headed to UCLA to play football. Now it’s thriving. Owens, a Hart High product who revived his baseball dreams when he left UCLA for The Master’s College, has seen his stock as a baseball player rise so much in the past year that he could soon be in the major leagues. As an outfielder in the Chicago White Sox system, Owens led the Double-A Southern League in batting last season. He just returned from playing in the Venezuelan winter league, where he batted .356 and drew praise from White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, whose team is in need of a center fielder. Owens has been invited to Chicago’s major-league camp for spring training and is expected to be among three rookies competing for the vacant outfield job. “To have the manager of the team that won the World Series tell you he’s pleased with what you’re doing and you could be a part of his team, that feels pretty good,” Owens said, referring to an offseason conversation with Guillen. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake While Guillen was in his native Venezuela to show off the White Sox’s World Series trophy, he made a point to watch Owens, who was acquired in a February trade from the Washington Nationals. Guillen was impressed enough with what he saw to give rave reviews in the Chicago media, and he said there shouldn’t be reason to worry about the vacancy in center field created by the White Sox’s trade of Aaron Rowand. “The way he played, the way he handled himself, the way he caught the ball, it really opened my eyes,” Guillen told the Chicago Sun-Times about Owens. “This kid can do a lot.” Owens, a 2003 second-round draft pick, did plenty in his first season playing above the Single-A level. In addition to batting a league-best .331, he set the Birmingham Barons’ modern-era record for stolen bases with 38, the third-best total in the Southern League. He was second in the league in runs (99) and seventh in on-base percentage (.393). His 173 hits in 130 games were 24 ahead of the league’s No. 2 total. Owens’ confidence was further boosted when he held his own in Venezuela, where rosters are dotted with major-leaguers. Despite being known for his speed, Owens is spending the offseason working diligently to get even faster. He returned home early, a few weeks before the Venezuelan season ended, to begin preparing for the upcoming season. He trains with a speed coach and does weight training. He knows improved endurance will be vital if he is in the big leagues, where the season is a month longer than what he is used to in the minors. Owens will try to approach spring training the same as usual, not wanting to be weighed down by expectations. “I don’t really look at it as more pressure,” said Owens, who has been added to the White Sox’s 40-man roster. “I’m a big believer in the fact God has a plan for my life. I’ll see where it takes me. It hasn’t always gone the way I expected. If it’s in his plans for me to be in the big leagues, I just want to make sure I’ve done everything I can to prepare for it. The last thing I want to do is not perform well and look back and say I could have worked harder and done more to prepare.” — Heather Gripp, (818)713-3607 [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more