Arsenal are set to remain without Theo Walcott for Sunday's (26 November) Premier League trip to Burnley, although Arsene Wenger is optimistic that the long-serving forward will be fit for a quickfire double-header against Huddersfield Town and Manchester United next week.

Walcott has been a largely peripheral figure for the Gunners in the top-flight so far this term, making only three substitutes appearances - the last of which came almost two months ago during the latter stages of a routine home win over newly-promoted Brighton & Hove Albion.

However, he had joined the likes of Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud as an ever-present senior figure in Arsenal's experimental Carabao Cup and Europa League lineup before illness prevented him from travelling to Germany for a shock 1-0 Group H defeat to Bundesliga strugglers FC Cologne on Thursday night.

Such an unspecified condition also stopped Walcott from taking his usual seat on the bench for a morale-boosting north London derby win over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend and will keep him sidelined on Sunday as Wenger's sixth-place side look to further bridge the gap to the top four in a tough test against in-form Burnley at Turf Moor.

The Clarets have won three successive top-tier matches for the first time in 42 years and currently sit just one place behind Arsenal by virtue of a slightly inferior goal difference.

"For the weekend, no [he is not available]," Wenger was quoted as saying of Walcott in an official team news update released on Friday afternoon in lieu of the usual pre-match press conference. "He's back in training now, so he should be okay for next week. He has been ill."

Arsenal have no new injury worries to contend with ahead of the meeting with Burnley despite "some kicks" received in a physical encounter last night, with Wenger confirming that everyone involved in Cologne "will be available to compete for the squad on Sunday".

He had already allayed fears over yet another setback suffered by former United striker Danny Welbeck, who was replaced by Alex Iwobi at the interval at the RheinEnergieStadion after performing well on his first appearance for nearly six weeks following a hamstring issue suffered on his return from groin trouble at Watford.

Providing further reasoning behind that calculated plan, the Frenchman said: "The last time he came back from injury, we played him at Watford and after an hour he got a bad hamstring. This time I didn't want to take that gamble. I wanted to be a bit more progressive with him. Almost certainly, nothing would have happened but I felt it was more sensible to do it. He's fine. He's completely fine."

Long-term absentee Santi Cazorla remains in his native Spain as he continues to recover from a gruelling achilles ordeal that his manager recently described as the worst injury he had ever seen.

"I hope to see him soon, that he comes over to give an update," Wenger said of the technically-gifted midfielder, who is expected back in January after more than a year out.

Arsene Wenger and Theo Walcott
Seven of Theo Walcott's 10 appearances for Arsenal in 2017-18 have come in the cup competitions BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images