Laurent Koscielny looks set to miss the Chelsea game - and no timescale has been put on his recovery.
Today saw Arsenal receive something of a thrashing at The Etihad as Manchester City’s continually rampant home form continued with a 6-3 win against their North London opponents this afternoon.
For The Gunners victory today was always going to be difficult - as their recent gruelling schedule finally seems to be taken its toll on talented but small squad that needs some tinkering in January if the title is really on its way back down south.
The result however was just one downside to today for Arsenal. Jack Wilshere decided it was a good idea to flip off the Manchester City fans on national television while Per Mertesacker got right in Mesut Ozil’s face for not applauding the travelling fans after the game.
Oh and Laurent Koscielny picked up a nasty looking injury. The bedrock to Arsenal’s excellent 2013 form has been the steady central defensive partnership between Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker - which is now set to be broken up.
Koscielny was stretchered off the pitch with what has been confirmed as a ‘severe laceration’ to his knee - that he picked up attempting to stop the Manchester City second goal from Alvaro Negredo.
It appears that in sliding in on the Spaniard the studs of ‘The Beast’ must have sliced into his skin causing him severe discomfort - and obviously concern for the medical staff.
He has ten days to recover from the injury for the game with Chelsea - but it looks as though he will not make it back in time for the game.
While the fact it is nothing internal will be pleasing for Arsenal fans to hear - a cut across the knee can take a significant time to heal.
The knee, as a joint that continually bends and flexes often puts strain on the skin - especially if that skin is trying to heal.
Wenger confirmed after the game his injury was still reasonably serious, and that he expected him to be out ‘for a while’:
“He has a cut and he will be out for a while but for how long I don't know.”
So Arsenal must hope that Thomas Vermaelen can rediscover his best form in time for a hectic festive schedule.
Or come 2014 they may no longer be top of the pile.
images: © Ronnie Macdonald