Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Mikel Arteta and Theo Walcott are all going to miss Saturday's Premier League game against Newcastle due to injuries, while Aaron Ramsey remains doubtful.
Having being out for a lengthy period with an Achilles injury, Koscielny suffered a calf problem on his return to action against Southampton earlier in the month, missing the following game against Stoke City and the Champions League victory over Galatasaray.
Meanwhile Monreal, who has been filling the Frenchman's void in the centre of defence during Koscielny's absence, has been also missing with a foot problem since the 1-0 win over the Saints on 3 December.
Arteta suffered a calf problem during the victory over Borussia Dortmund last month and has since been unable to play. Walcott sustained a groin injury during the last international break with England, just after returning from a nine-month spell cruciate knee ligament injury.
Wenger has now confirmed the four stars, as well as Calum Chambers, will miss the game, meaning he has just one first-team centre-back, Per Mertesacker, available to face Newcastle.
"Our main problems are still defensively because Laurent Koscielny looks like he will not be quite ready, Nacho Monreal is not back and Calum Chambers is suspended," Wenger told Arsenal's official website.
"Mikel Arteta is not ready and Theo Walcottis out."
However, Wenger said of Walcott: "The signs are quite good.
"He has had two days of training now but he now lacks competition and fitness to come back to a good level."
The Welsh midfielder claimed after the game that "he felt a bit of a tight hamstring" at the interval, but he is expected to play against Newcastle.
Wenger has now given an update, saying: "Aaron Ramsey will be checked today and tomorrow [Friday], so we'll see."
At the same time the French boss rubbished recent reports claiming Jack Wilshere has suffered a set-back in his recovery.
"That's completely wrong. He's doing very well. He's on crutches, so I don't see how he can have a setback.
"It's frustrating because it's hard enough for Jack to be injured. He doesn't need the negative news on top of that. It's always frustrating to deny things that are not true."