Wales expect to be without Aaron Ramsey for the World Cup qualifying double-header in October as the Arsenal midfielder continues to be hampered by a hamstring injury. The 25-year-old limped out of the opening Premier League weekend defeat to Liverpool in August and has missed the Gunners' last six games.
Arsene Wenger had expected Ramsey to miss just a month of action, with his return coming in mid-September. However, the former Cardiff City man is yet to figure in the north Londoners' first team and his country are concerned he is now a major doubt for the resumption of the qualifying campaign for Russia 2018.
Chris Coleman's side face Austria and Georgia on 6 and 9 October respectively and could do so without Ramsey, who was part of the squad which reached the semi-finals at the European Championships. Wales assistant boss Osain Roberts says his lack of minutes for Arsenal makes him a doubt for the games which will go a long way to determining their passage to the tournament in two years time.
"There is concern because he has been out for so long," he told BBC Wales Sport of Ramsey who missed the 4-0 win over Moldova earlier in September. "It's extremely disappointing after the magnificent tournament Aaron had at the Euros that he picked up an injury in the opening game of the season. It's a huge disappointment for him and for all of us. But let's just hope the situation improves for him over the next week or so."
Ramsey has been constantly beset by hamstring injuries during his Arsenal career – his latest absence is the fourth time in two years he has been struck down by the same problem. Goal.com understood Ramsey had returned to training prior to the Champions League group game against Paris-Saint Germain but was deemed not ready to play at Nottingham Forest in the English Football League Cup or in the upcoming league visit of Chelsea.
Wenger will be questioned by journalists on Friday [23 September] regarding the fitness of Ramsey and striker Oliver Giroud, who has been hindered by a toe injury since being sent off against PSG. Danny Welbeck and Per Mertesacker are both longer-term absentees having both undergone knee surgery.