Arsenal forward Theo Walcott and winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain face at least three weeks on the sidelines after limping off in the Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, the club have confirmed. Walcott has a calf problem while Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was replaced by fellow Southampton academy graduate after five minutes, is suffering with a hamstring injury meaning the duo will miss the next three matches including the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.
Both players face scans before the weekend trip to Swansea City in the Premier League but the early prognosis suggests they will miss the trip to south Wales and the Champions League group game against Bayern Munich, prior to hosting Spurs at The Emirates Stadium. Furthermore, the Gunners have reiterated that Aaron Ramsey and David Ospina are unlikely to return until after the international break while Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta is another absentee.
"Nothing has changed since after the [Sheffield Wednesday] game," Wenger told Arsenal's official website. "They are out but the scans are today - it's 48 hours afterwards. We hope they are light injuries, but they are out until after the international break. It's the same for [Ramsey, Ospina and Arteta]. You plan for them all after the international break."
Confirmation of the injuries sees Arsenal's injury list rise to eight, with the quintet joining Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky on the sidelines with the trio all recovering from undergoing surgery earlier in the campaign. It leaves Wenger without a core of crucial players during a pivotal week in the season where their domestic and European ambitions will be tested.
The loss of Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ramsey leaves Arsenal short in wide positions particularly on the right. The French boss is therefore ready to turn to his youth ranks to fill the role, despite criticising the performance of his young players after the 3-0 loss at Hillsborough.
"Campbell and Alex Iwobi [could play on the right]," he added. "Santi [Cazorla] can play there as well but he has become very important centrally. The problem sometimes is that you can destroy two departments if you move one player out. We control the ball better with Santi in the middle."