Arsene Wenger has confirmed Mathieu Flamini will miss Arsenal's Premier League clash with Everton on 19 March. The combative midfielder was something of a surprise selection to start the Champions League last-16 second-leg tie in Barcelona earlier this week, lasting just 44 minutes of the 3-1 defeat before being replaced by compatriot Francis Coquelin.
Flamini, whose second spell with the Gunners looks set to end this summer as his current contract expires in June, received treatment during the half-time break at the Nou Camp before watching the remainder of the match from the press room. It has since emerged that the 32-year-old is dealing with a hamstring problem that will rule him out of contention for the trip to Merseyside.
"We lost Flamini – his hamstring," Wenger was quoted as saying by The Mirror during his latest pre-match press conference. "He's out for tomorrow. Everybody else is available. There will be a check-up this morning."
Such an injury only serves to further deplete Arsenal's diminishing midfield options, with Coquelin and January signing Mohamed Elneny left to hold the fort. Mikel Arteta has returned to first-team training following a recurring calf complaint that has kept him out of action since the FA Cup fourth-round victory over Burnley in January, but the club captain was not included in the squad that returned from Catalonia empty-handed.
Providing an update on the rest of his current injury problems, Wenger added:"Cazorla ['s recovery] is slow, [Jack] Wilshere is showing good signs of recovery. The players who could be back after the international break are [Aaron] Ramsey, [Petr] Cech. [Santi] Cazorla's knee is perfect. He has a little Achilles problem."
Cazorla underwent surgery after sustaining a knee ligament injury during a 1-1 draw at Norwich City in late November, but recently appeared to contradict his manager by revealing his plans to return to action on 1 April remain in place despite suggestions that he was suffering from tendonitis in his achilles. Wilshere has yet to play a single minute of football since suffering a hairline crack to his left fibula during an accidental training collision back in August.
Cech hurt his calf while racing back to his goal after joining an attacking corner during the latter stages of a painful home defeat to Swansea City, while Ramsey picked up a thigh strain against Hull. Centre-back Laurent Koscielny is now back after missing four matches, although Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains sidelined. Tomas Rosicky may have played his final game for Arsenal after a new knee injury ruined his comeback from an eight-month absence.