By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been ruled out for “weeks” with a serious knee injury and faces a battle to play again this season, Arsene Wenger confirmed on Friday.
Football Insider revealed on Thursday that the midfielder is facing months on the sidelines after damaging his right knee and ankle in a challenge with Javier Mascherano in the Gunners’s 2-0 Champions League defeat to Barcelona on Tuesday night.
Oxlade-Chamberlain underwent scans on the injuries amid fears he has suffered ligament damage and will now see a knee specialist about the problem.
Speaking at his media briefing on Friday, Wenger said: “We lost Chamberlain on Tuesday. His injury is quite serious and keeps him out for a few weeks. He’s seeing a knee specialist.”
Asked when the 22-year-old will be back, Wenger said it could be “two or three weeks” or perhaps even “six or seven”.
Oxlade-Chamberlain now faces a fight to play for Arsenal again this season, as well as force his way in the England squad for Euro 2016.
A lengthy lay-off is a huge blow at a time when the 22-year-old had showed signs of a return to form after a difficult 2015 in which he did not score a single Premier League goal.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was given the nod to start ahead of Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Joel Campbell against Barcelona, and had also been in the starting X1 for Arsenal’s last two Premier League matches.
He has become the latest in a series of Arsenal’s players to be ruled out with a serious knee injury this season, following Welbeck, Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla.
In other Arsenal injury news, Gabriel will undergo a fitness test ahead of Sunday’s trip to Old Trafford after missing three matches with a knee problem.