Arsenal’s injured midfielder Gilberto is not expected to play until mid-April at the earliest.

Gilberto has been recovering in his native Brazil after suffering fractured vertebrae in September, but he has returned to London for further medical checks this week, the club said on its website.

Manager Arsene Wenger said: “The news I had from the specialist he (Gilberto) has seen was rather good. But we want to check that with our own specialist.”