By Chelsea correspondent Tony Hughes
Alexis Sanchez has had a hamstring alarm, according to Arsene Wenger.
The Chilean, who has started 17 of Arsenal’s 18 Premier League and Champions League matches this season following an exhausting programme over the last 18 months, has handed Wenger an injury scare ahead of Sunday’s clash against Norwich.
The Arsenal manager has claimed that he will give Sanchez a mid-season break at some point but the club’s lengthy injury list has forced him to stick with one of his premier players.
With Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fit again and the Gunners without a fixture next midweek following their elimination from the League Cup, it could be the perfect opportunity to give the forward a rest.
Sanchez played the full 90 minutes as Arsenal brushed aside Dynamo Zagreb 3-0 on Tuesday night, setting up the opener for Mesut Ozil and scoring twice to take his goal tally for the season to nine.
Speaking at his media briefing on Thursday morning ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League clash against Norwich on Sunday, Wenger revealed Sanchez’s hamstring problem. He said: “I will assess that later. It might not be the right time to rest him.”
Wenger has had few options in the attacking positions, with Theo Walcott still sidelined, as well as long-term absentees Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere.
But Ramsey returned after a six-match absence against Zagreb, coming off the bench in the second half, and the manager is hopeful that Oxlade-Chamberlain will be in contention for Sunday after missing the last five games.
“Maybe Oxlade-Chamberlain should be back in the squad [for Sunday],” explained Wenger on Thursday. “Theo Walcott not for Sunday, he goes through a few steps.
““He has another big hurdle to get across today and hopefully he can be successful.”