Arsenal have suffered a major injury blow with Jack Wilshere believed to be out for over six weeks after a suspected hairline fracture in his fibula.
The Mirror reports that the midfielder picked up the calf bone injury in training. It was previously believed to be innocuous, but recent scans suggest a longer lay-off than initially predicted. It is a major blow for the 23-year-old who missed over three years on account of injuries, something that has stalled his career.
Arsenal are reportedly confident he will not need surgery, which would keep him out of action for over three months. But he has been ruled out of the England qualifiers scheduled for the first two weeks of September. Wilshere was part of Arsenal's pre-season tour and played a part in all the games except against Chelsea when he was injured.
Wilshere's absence takes Arsenal's injury count to three for the season so far, with Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky also unavailable for the Gunners.
The length of Wilshere's lay-off is likely to be known before the weekend after a few more medical tests.
Arsenal have had a productive start to their campaign, winning all their pre-season fixtures thus far, thrashing a Singapore Select XI 4-0 and beating Everton 3-1 to lift the Barclays Asia Trophy. The Gunners also won the Emirates Cup a week later by defeating Lyon and Wolfsburg in back-to-back games, before getting the better of Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley.
This was Wenger's first win over Jose Mourinho in a competitive fixture. The Frenchman will be hoping he can take that form forward into the league and end their decade-long wait without the title.