Jens Lehmann has rejoined former employers Arsenal FC until the end of the season in order to bolster the club's injury-hit goalkeeping ranks.
Manager Arsène Wenger chose to invite Lehmann out of retirement after Wojciech Szczęsny was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign with the finger injury he suffered in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 loss at FC Barcelona. With Łukasz Fabiański already sidelined due to a shoulder injury, Manuel Almunia had become the only fit senior keeper at the north London outfit, where Lehmann served between 2003 and 2008.
"We have no cover in the Premier League, so that is why I decided to bring Jens back," said Wenger. Lehmann, 41, made 147 league appearances for the Gunners during his first spell and was part of their unbeaten 2003/04 English championship triumph, the 2005 FA Cup win and the run to the 2006 UEFA Champions League final. The former German international left Arsenal for VfB Stuttgart in 2008, before seemingly hanging up his gloves for good last summer.
Meanwhile, Wenger has a number of other injury concerns hanging over his squad as they vie for the Premier League title, with centre-back Thomas Vermaelen now expected to miss the rest of the season because of the Achilles complaint that has kept him out since September. The French tactician has also said there is "no chance" of winger Theo Walcott – who has an ankle problem – being fit for England's UEFA EURO 2012 Group G qualifier away against Wales on 26 March.
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