Arsenal have suffered a significant injury blow after Santi Cazorla was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign after initial diagnosis suggested he would return within two months.
The 32-year-old underwent surgery to correct an Achilles problem in December and revealed at the time that he will be back in two months' time. But Arsene Wenger remained unconvinced about the timeline for his return and had recently suggested that he could miss the second-half of the campaign.
The Mirror reports that the midfielder will indeed miss the rest of the campaign after failing to recover sufficiently and the club have prepared a recovery programme that will see him return in time for pre-season ahead of the 2017/18 campaign. Cazorla has been sidelined since mid-October and Arsenal have suffered in his absence.
Granit Xhaka and Francis Coquelin are Wenger's only options in midfield at the moment with Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny both injured and Jack Wilshere out on loan at Bournemouth. The Egyptian was the latest to join the injured list after picking up a knock against Sutton United.
However, on a positive note, the London Evening Standard reports that Arsenal duo Laurent Koscielny and Alex Iwobi are expected to return to training during the week after recovering from their respective knocks suffered against Bayern Munich and Sutton. Elneny is expected to have a scan this week to diagnose the extent of his injury.
Koscielny came off 10 minutes into the second-half against Bayern after which Arsenal crumbled with the score going from a respectable 1-1 to 5-1 in 40 minutes. Wenger will be glad to know that the defender's injury is minor and should be available for the Gunners' trip to Anfield in 11 days' time.
Iwobi, meanwhile, suffered a bruised ankle following a rash tackle by Sutton captain James Collins. The striker uploaded a picture of his ankle wrapped in bandage following the 2-0 win, but the injury is minor and he will back in training with the rest of the squad this week.