Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger does not think Kieran Gibbs will be able to play for England at this summer's World Cup finals even though he expects the defender will return from injury before the end of the season.
The 20-year-old left-back looked set to be sidelined for the rest of the campaign after undergoing surgery on the foot he injured during a Champions League match against Standard Liege in November.
However, Gibbs has made better than anticipated progress in his recovery from the operation and Wenger has now admitted that there is an outside chance he could play again this season.
Ashley Cole is currently sidelined by a serious ankle injury while Wayne Bridge has announced that he does not want to be involved in the England set-up again but Wenger does not think Gibbs is the answer to Fabio Capello's left-back problems.
"There is a chance he will be back (before the end of the season), if all goes well," said the Frenchman.
"But I can't give you any date for his return to football and it's very premature at the moment. He is still in a little cast and we are near the beginning of March.
"I think he will one day play for the national team. I am convinced of that."
Meanwhile, the Gunners have announced pre-tax profits of £35.2million in the six months ending November 30 2009.