LONDON: Arsenal star Thierry Henry will miss Saturday’s FA Cup final against Manchester United due to an Achilles injury.
The French forward returned to action for the second half of last Wednesday’s 7-0 win over Everton following a month out with a groin injury.
He aggravated a recurring Achilles injury during that game and sat out Sunday’s 2-1 loss at Birmingham, the club’s last league game of the season. The Gunners said yesterday he won’t recover in time for the showpiece final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Henry led the English Premier League scoring charts this season with 25 goals, four more than his nearest rival, Andy Johnson of Crystal Palace. He also hit five in the Champions League.
Henry, 27, has been Arsenal’s leading scorer each of the five seasons since joining from Juventus in August 1999. He has a total of 181 goals in 297 games for Arsenal.
Meanwhile, manager Arsene Wenger will decide on Thursday at the latest whether to include Spanish striker Juan Antonio Reyes in his squad. Reyes was injured after getting kicked in training.
Freddie Ljungberg is likely to play after ending a four-match absence with a hip injury against Birmingham.
“We’ll have to see how it reacts in training,'' Ljungberg said on the club’s website.
“It is still a bit swollen and the whole thing feels like a big bruise but it felt good. I can play with it.”
Robert Pires should be fit after being rested on Sunday, while Lauren, who sat out the Birmingham game with food poisoning, will play.
NICE: French international Patrick Vieira says he wants to stay at Arsenal until the end of his contract with the English Premier League club in 2007.
Vieira, who was in French Riviera city of Nice to visit a healthcare centre for children, said he has no intention of leaving the London side where he is club captain.
“For the time being, my contract with Arsenal is still running and I don’t want to leave,” he said. – Agencies