Arsene Wenger has suggested there is only a little chance of Laurent Koscielny returning after the international break.
French defender Laurent Koscielny's injury shows no sign of imminent recovery, with Arsene Wenger confirming he will miss the trip to Swansea City this weekend.
A well-timed international break means there are no further matches he will miss for a fortnight, with France leaving him out of their squad, allowing him to focus on his return.
Yet asked on Thursday about Koscielny's chances of making it back for November 22, he was tentative, responding: "Koscielny has a little chance to be back after the international break."
Fans will take 'little chance' over 'no chance', but when looking at the opponent, the Gunners have serious reason to want him back.
If Koscielny does not make it back, then there is a chance Arsene Wenger elects to go with left-back Nacho Monreal in central defence as he has done in previous matches.
Monreal would have to deal with the threat of Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao, and Wayne Rooney. It's a prospect which will have Gooners watching through their fingers, and feeling uneasy just thinking about it.
Yet there is hope, thanks to Manchester United having even bigger troubles of their own. Their defence has been so badly struck by injuries and suspensions, a player few fans had even heard of is their go-to defender, Paddy McNair.
The Northern Irish teenager faces the dangerous threat of Alexis Sanchez, a returning Theo Walcott, and former Red Devil Danny Welbeck. It has even been confirmed by Wenger that Olivier Giroud is also due to return to the squad ahead of the fixture.
The Koscielny outlook may be worrying, but even if he does not make it, Arsenal fans should console themselves that their opponents face even more troubling defensive woes, which extend to potentially having to play Michael Carrick in defence.