Van Persie ruled out of Arsenal-United first leg


LONDON, April 24 – Robin van Persie, Arsenal's leading scorer this season, has been ruled out of next week's Champions League semi-final first leg against Manchester United

ROBIN_VAN_PERSIEThe Dutch striker, who has hit the net 17 times in the current campaign, is struggling to recover from the groin injury which forced him to sit out the 4-4 draw with Liverpool this week and manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed he will not be available for Sunday’s Premier League match against Middlesbrough or the trip to Old Trafford three days later.

There was better news for Wenger on the fitness of Emmanuel Adebayor. The Togo striker has recovered from a hamstring injury and is set to feature as Arsenal seek to extend their unbeaten league run to 20 matches against relegation-threatened Boro.

First-choice goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and defender Johan Djourou are also ready to return following ankle and knee injuries respectively, which will come as a relief for Wenger who made no secret of his frustration at the defensive errors that contributed to all four of Liverpool’s goals in midweek.

"We will rotate a little bit again, but we have no major injuries from the Liverpool match," the Frenchman reported.

"Manuel Almunia was in full training on Thursday and we will see how he responds. Djourou was in full training also so we will see how he is too. Both could come back into the squad.

"Emmanuel Adebayor should come back into training on Saturday but Robin van Persie is definitely out for Sunday and for Manchester United."

Wenger also revealed that France left-back Gael Clichy will have a scan on his back injury on Monday and could be involved in the Champions League match if the results are positive.