Arsene Wenger admits he would be prepared to take a gamble on Cesc Fabregas’ fitness for Arsenal’s Champions League tie against Porto.
Fabregas is a doubt for Tuesday’s encounter after picking up a hamstring injury in the 3-1 win over Burnley.
The Spaniard was forced off in the first half on Saturday after suffering a recurrence of the hamstring injury which sidelined him for three weeks earlier in the season.
Wenger will continue to assess his captain in the build-up to Porto’s visit, but confirmed he is willing to take a risk on Fabregas.
“I’m ready to take the gamble,” said Wenger, whose Arsenal side must overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg.
“But if there is more than a 50 per cent chance of his hamstring going I will not take it.”
The Arsenal boss also praised Fabregas’ form this season, with his goal against Burnley the 14th he has scored in the Premier League this term.
Wenger added: “You look at the Fabregas numbers and they are amazing – 14 goals and 15 assists. He’s a fantastic player with a fantastic attitude and commitment.
“And what people forget, an unbelievable work-rate too. This season he has taken a big step forward, massive.
“At 22 years of age he has matured.”