By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Arsene Wenger has stretched credulity by claiming he does not know how long Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla will be sidelined.
An Arsenal dressing-room source told Football Insider that the Gunners received the scan results of the injuries sustained by the duo on Wednesday.
Sanchez will be absent for two to three weeks with a hamstring injury and Cazorla is expected to miss three months with knee ligament damage.
Football Insider has been told that Arsenal’s medical team are not “100 per cent sure” about the timeframe for Cazorla’s absence but the “consensus” is that he will be out until March.
Sanchez’s injury is more clear cut. It is not as bad as originally feared – the club were initially concerned he could miss up to six weeks – and the forward has been given permission to fly home to Chile for a mini-break to rest and undergo the first phase of his rehabilitation.
Both players sustained injuries in Arsenal’s 1-1 Premier League draw at Norwich last Sunday, as did centre-back Laurent Koscielny, who limped off after 11 minutes with a hip injury.
On the more positive front, as revealed by Football Insider, Theo Walcott is in contention to figure in the Gunners’ clash against Sunderland on Saturday.
Speaking to the Arsenal website on Thursday, Wenger said: “We will make a decision on Saturday on Koscielny and Walcott, they could both make the squad. Gibbs is available again for the weekend.
“At the moment on Alexis, Santi and Mikel, we don’t know how long they will be out for.”