Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is concerned midfielder Aaron Ramsey could be faced with a lengthy spell out of the team after limping out of the FA Cup fifth round replay against Hull City with a thigh injury. The Wales international came on as a second half substitute for defender Gabriel but lasted just 16 minutes at the KC Stadium.
Despite cruising into the last eight of the competition with a comprehensive victory over Steve Bruce's side thanks to doubles from Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott, Wenger was left counting the cost of victory. Per Mertesacker was replaced with a head injury following a clash with Nick Powell while Gabriel was replaced on the hour mark with an undisclosed problem.
The trio's respective issues swells Arsenal's injury list to 10 ahead of the quarter-final against Watford at The Emirates Stadium, while it is yet to be seen what impact the spate of fitness issues will have on their Premier League and Champions League commitments. Wenger however was positive over the injuries suffered by Mertesacker and Gabriel, but fears for Ramsey.
"I am in a bit of shock," he told BT Sport. "We lost our two centre backs in the game and after we lost Aaron Ramsey. Mertesacker is not serious, just a concussion, a little head concussion. Gabriel looks alright. Ramsey I am a bit more concerned. [He has] a muscular thigh injury and apart from that we have played well. Let's see if we can recover from the injuries and continue to play the way that we play today."
Victory saw Arsenal avoid a sixth game without a win in all competitions and eases the pressure on Wenger, who has come under scrutiny from the media and supporters in recent weeks as this side's campaign threatens to fall apart. A banner calling for his departure was unfurled at full-time despite the result, but Wenger is unperturbed.
"I didn't come at the media I just said that sometimes press conferences are boring and I don't think anyone would disagree with that who is in the job," the Arsenal boss explained following his comments regarding journalists earlier this week. "To the fans I say just to be behind the team and judge our season at the end of the season, that is all."