By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Four Arsenal players have joined the team’s mounting casualty list to leave Arsene Wenger in “shock” following their 4-0 FA Cup victory at Hull on Tuesday night.
The Gunners paid the price for progress to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup as they now have 11 players being treated for injury ahead of one of the biggest weeks of their season.
Wenger’s team host Watford in Sunday’s quarter-final before travelling to Barcelona in the second leg of a last-16 Champions League tie and then a trip to Everton in the Premier League title race.
Aaron Ramsey, Per Mertesacker and Gabriel were all forced off during the win at the KC Stadium, and substitute Nacho Monreal was limping heavily after the game.
They join Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny on the sidelines as well as long-term absentees Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky.
Wenger revealed after Tuesday’s match that the most serious is the one suffered by key midfielder Ramsey, who broke down just 16 minutes after coming on as a substitute for Gabriel.
Mertesacker had earlier been substituted 33 minutes into the match with an eye injury and Gabriel was taken off at the start of the second half with a muscle problem.
“I’m a bit under shock,” Wenger told BT Sport afterwards. “We lost our two centre-backs and after that we lost Ramsey.
“Mertesacker is not serious, just a bit of concussion. Gabiel looks alright, Ramsey I am a bit more concerned about. It is a muscular [one], a thigh injury.”
Arsenal’s victory over Hull keeps alive their hopes of winning the FA Cup for the third year in a row and means they will host Watford at Emirates Stadium in a hastily-arranged tie on Sunday.
Wenger is already without Cech for a month, while Koscielny has missed the last three matches with a calf injury and has been rated doubtful for the weekend by the manager.
In other Arsenal injury news, the club’s medical team have revealed that Jack Wilshere is close to regaining full fitness.