In Brief

Walcott, Rosicky, Diaby, but not Wilshere, make all-time injured XI

Arsenal trio named among the most injured Premier League players of the century as Welbeck suffers setback

A trio of Gunners have made a select Premier League XI - though it won't be one to put on their CVs.

Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky and the recently released Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby have all been named in the most injured Premier League XI of the 21st Century.

Sky Sports reports that the injury-prone 11 were selected on data compiled by the, which has scrutinised the numbers of days that players in England's top-flight have missed through injury and recorded them in their 'injury table'.

Walcott, Rosicky and Diaby have missed the most in their respective positions and so gingerly take their place in a line-up that will strike fear into the heart of physios the length and breadth of the country. Amazingly another Gunner, Jack Wilshere, fails to make the cut despite suffering 25 different injuries since 2009.

In goal for the treatment table all-stars is former Sunderland keeper Craig Gordon, who's missed a total of 913 days through injury, the result mainly of a serious knee injury.

The not-so robust back four comprises Tony Hibbert of Everton, former Spurs skipper Ledley King, Newcastle's Steven Taylor and ex-Spurs and QPR full-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto. whose 752 days' of sick notes is the smallest of the starting XI. King, on the other hand, whose wounded knees became the stuff of legend, missed a total of 1,318 days.

But that figure pales into insignificance when set alongside Abou Diaby, the former Arsenal playmaker who joined Marseille earlier in the summer. The fragile Frenchman sat out a staggering total of 2,156 days during his time at the Emirates - or put another way, he was unavailable for five years and nine months of the nine and a half years he spent at Arsenal.

He's joined in the midfield by Rosicky (1,188 days) and Owen Hargreaves, who spent 1,179 days hobbling around Old Trafford and the Etihad.

Up front, West Brom's Victor Anichebe and former Stoke striker Mamady Sidibe partner Walcott, who has racked up an impressive 1,030 days on the sidelines in his 26 years.

Arsenal fans won't be surprised to learn that they're represented in the Injured XI more than any other club given their appalling catalogue of injuries in recent seasons.

Danny Welbeck is the latest long-term casualty with the club announcing on Thursday that he won't be seen again "for a period of months", with most experts not predicting a return before Christmas.

Injured XI:

GK: Craig Gordon – 913 days

RB: Tony Hibbert – 1,280 days

CB: Ledley King – 1,318 days

CB: Steven Taylor – 1,205 days

LB: Benoit Assou-Ekotto – 752 days

CM: Abou Diaby – 2,156 days

CM: Tomas Rosicky – 1,188 days

CM: Owen Hargreaves – 1,179 days

F: Theo Walcott – 1,030 days

F: Victor Anichebe – 1,096 days

F: Mamady Sidibe – 932 days


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