Arsenal midfielder Rosicky excused from Czech Republic duty

At the request of Gunners manager Arsene Wenger, interim national coach Josef Pesice agreed to allow the midfielder time to recover fitness after returning to first-team action
Arsenal have been granted a request for Tomas Rosicky to be excused from Czech Republic international duty to preserve his fitness.

5/1 Arsenal are 5/1 with BetVictor to win the Premier League
The veteran midfielder picked up an injury when last with his national squad in September and, though he recovered enough to play against Napoli and West Brom, Arsene Wenger is concerned about the effect that more games would have.

With the Czechs' hopes of qualification for World Cup 2014 all but over, coach Michal Bilek resigned after September's loss to Italy and interim boss Josef Pesice agreed to try other players.

"Arsenal have asked us to excuse Rosicky for health reasons. We have called up Borek Dockal," Pesice told the press.

National team director and former Liverpool star Vladimir Smicer explained: "Tomas wasn't completely fit after the [West Brom] game. Arsene Wenger got in touch with me and we agreed not to take Tomas to the qualifiers."

The 33-year-old Rosicky has 93 international caps to his name, having made his debut in 2000, and has scored 21 goals for his country.