Arsene Wenger has admitted that midfield playmaker Santi Cazorla could be out until March after suffering knee ligament damage at Norwich.
The Spain man was injured in last weekend’s draw at Carrow Road, but finished the 90 minutes as Laurent Koscielny had already been forced off with a hip problem.
Alexis Sanchez also pulled up with a hamstring injury and was substituted, but Cazorla battled on and Wenger has now admitted he may be without the 30-year-old for four months.
“It is possible,” Wenger said when asked whether Cazorla could be out until March.
“Ideally you want them all to be with you but we are prepared to deal with it. It is a big miss with players like that but it is a opportunity for players to come in and fill in and show they have the quality and that they are fresh and that can give a good impact to the team.
“The players injured in the last two weeks will not play tomorrow and who is back maybe in the squad could be Laurent Koscielny, and Theo Walcott will be a decision tomorrow morning.”
Wenger though was uncertain how long he will be without Sanchez for, but he did confirm that he was given the green light from the medical staff to play the Chile star against Norwich.
“I don’t know, honestly,” said Wenger, when questioned about Sanchez’s return.
“Alexis is a hamstring but I don’t know how long it will take, it is usually a quick one to recover while Cazorla we don’t know until he sees a specialist.
“Alexis had four weeks holiday, he was rested in some games and had all the medical signs to say he was okay to play between Dinamo Zagreb and Norwich.
“Nobody suggested that he could displace his back or his hamstring. When he was pushed into the boards on the side of the field that did not shock anybody. That injury can come from that as well.
“I’m not expert enough to know but if you want to blame me I’m okay with it.”