It’s not the news that Arsenal supporters wanted to hear on the eve of a new Premier League season. After having a scan on his thigh today, Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta is expected to be out of the squad for 4 to 6 weeks with a torn quadricep. That means Arteta will miss the UEFA Champions League playoff matches against Fenerbahce as well as the opening weeks of the 2013/14 Premier League season.
To make matters worse for Arsene Wenger, here are the other Arsenal footballers who have injury worries:
Nacho Monreal. The Spaniard is still suffering from a back injury, but expects to rejoin the Arsenal squad for full training in 10 days
Thomas Vermaelen. The Belgian is progressing well from his injury, but Arsene Wenger isn’t ready to put a timescale on when he’ll return.
Bacary Sagna. Arsenal’s right back sustained an ankle injury while on international duty with France this week, and faces a race against time to be ready for Saturday.
Abou Diaby. The skillful midfielder is still recovering from his knee injury, and won’t be back in action until the end of 2013 at the earliest.
Yaya Sanogo. New signing Sanogo is still suffering from a hamstring injury, and is a doubt for this weekend’s match.
Santi Cazorla. Arsenal’s midfield maestro is expected to return to London tonight after playing for Spain in a friendly in Ecuador. While there are no injury worries, whether the Spaniard will be physically ready to play after so much traveling will be a concern.
Aaron Ramsey. The Welsh midfielder pulled out of the Wales squad midweek as a precaution after suffering an ankle injury last week against Manchester City. He’s in a race against time to be ready for the match against Aston Villa this Saturday.
Ryo Miyaichi. Wenger revealed that “He is close [to being back in the side] and he should be back with the training group next week.”
Incredibly, after letting 17 senior players leave the club this season, Arsenal may only have 11 match-fit players to choose from for their squad on Saturday. That means Wenger will have to put some players on the bench who are either youngsters, not completely fit or out of favor at the club.