First published: 29th October, 2015, 8:00 AM
EXCLUSIVE | By Editor Wayne Veysey
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is targeting next week’s north London derby for his comeback from injury, Football Insider sources understand.
The midfielder is set to miss Arsenal’s next two matches – against Swansea on Saturday and then Bayern Munich next Wednesday – but he is hopeful of being in contention for the home clash against Tottenham the following Sunday.
Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled up with a hamstring problem just five minutes into the Gunners’ 3-0 League Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday.
He was subsequently joined on the sidelines by his replacement Theo Walcott, who suffered a calf strain and was hauled off just 13 minutes after coming on. The forward is expected to be ruled out for at least three weeks to leave Olivier Giroud as Arsenal’s only fit senior striker.
But Arsenal are more optimistic about the recovery of Oxlade-Chamberlain. He underwent scans on his hamstring on Wednesday and the club’s medical staff are now awaiting the results.
Sources have told Football Insider that the Oxlade-Chamberlain injury is not as serious as Walcott’s and the club are hopeful he will be in contention for north London derby at Emirates Stadium in 10 days
Speaking after Arsenal had been knocked out of the competition, Wenger admitted the team’s Premier League challenge will be affected by losing the key pair.
He said: “We are short now because we lose Chamberlain today and we lose Walcott. They are two muscular injuries. We already have a few injuries. How big the damage is, I don’t know as we need to wait 48 hours to have them scanned.
“It is a big blow for us today of course to lose the game, but even more for the other competitions – they are very important to us.
“We have a big game on Saturday (against Swansea), a game at Bayern coming up and already we are short, so to lose two offensive players tonight is damaging for us.”
It was a crushing double-blow for Arsenal, who, as revealed by Football Insider, are already without Aaron Ramsey for another three weeks, while Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky are long-term absentees.