Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has provided a positive update on the recent injury suffered by Francis Coquelin. The French midfielder made his sixth start of the season against Chelsea on Saturday evening (24 September), but lasted a little over half an hour of a mightily impressive 3-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium before being replaced by Granit Xhaka after coming off worse from a collision with N'Golo Kante.
Wenger admitted his concern over the injury during his post-match press conference, revealing that Coquelin had left the ground sporting a brace on the affected area, amid fears that he may have suffered a repeat of the knee ligament damage sustained at West Bromwich Albion in November 2015 that eventually kept him sidelined for two months. He further insisted that it would be 48 hours before scan results could determine the extent of the damage.
And while Coquelin will definitely be sidelined for tomorrow's Champions League Group A clash at home to reigning Swiss champions FC Basel, Wenger revealed that the prognosis was much better than first feared and that the 25-year-old should return within three weeks.
"Coquelin is out for the game tomorrow - it should be a short-term injury," he was quoted as saying by the club at a press conference. "The scan was quite positive."
He added: "I think he will be three weeks out."
If indeed that specific time frame is correct, then Coquelin should only miss out on Basel and this weekend's Premier League trip to newly-promoted Burnley. He will then have the international break to recover before Arsenal host Swansea City, Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets, Middlesbrough and Reading in a span of four home matches in just 10 days.
Wenger has no other fresh injury concerns ahead of Basel, with Aaron Ramsey yet to return from a hamstring problem sustained on the opening weekend of the season against Liverpool. Long-term absentees Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck are not expected back until the New Year. Olivier Giroud is suspended and is also doubtful for Turf Moor due to a toe injury.
Arsenal will be high on confidence after extending their run of consecutive top-flight wins to four with their most emphatic defeat of hapless Chelsea since April 1997. The Gunners began their Champions League campaign with a somewhat fortunate 1-1 draw against Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month. It was far from a vintage performance at the Parc des Princes, but the visitors, who saw substitute Giroud sent off late on for an altercation with Marco Verratti, snatched a point after Alexis Sanchez cancelled out the otherwise wasteful Edinson Cavani's 42-second opener. Back-up goalkeeper David Ospina received widespread plaudits for a super performance.
Urs Fischer's Basel, winners of the last seven consecutive Swiss Super League titles who still boast a 100% domestic record after nine games of the 2016/17 season, also scored late through Renato Steffen to claim a 1-1 draw against Ludogorets at St Jakob-Park.