LONDON, England (AFP) – Arsenal are facing an early season injury criris and winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be out of action for the best part of six months, the Daily Mail reported on Monday.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is one of several players who picked up injuries in Saturday's 3-1 home defeat to Aston Villa, leaving manager Arsene Wenger with a selection headache for Wednesday's crucial Champions League qualifier against Fenerbache.
Wenger was waiting on the results of a second scan on Oxlade-Chamberlain after the England international left the Emirates Stadium on crutches on Saturday.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, 20, was involved in a nasty collision with Aston Villa defender Antonio Luna and Wenger admitted: "He is out, definitely out (for the Fenerbahce trip). It's a knee problem. It's a bad injury."
The highly-rated winger underwent a preliminary scan on Sunday and medical staff were assessing his damaged left knee. The initial results suggested Oxlade-Chamberlain had suffered serious ligament damage, which doctors fear could keep him out of action for as long as six months.
A definitive diagnosis on the injury was expected on Monday with Wenger - and England manager Roy Hodgson - hoping for better news after Monday's second scan results. But it is looking increasingly likely the former Southampton star is facing a lengthy spell on the treatment table as Arsenal's injury problems go from bad to worse. Wenger is facing up to the prospect of having just eight fully-fit senior outfield players for the trip to Fenerbache after the opening day defeat to Villa. In addition to Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs, Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey are all doubtful after picking up injuries at the weekend.
Thomas Vermaelen, Nacho Monreal, Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby were already confirmed to miss the the midweek clash through injury. Sagna, who will continue to be assessed ahead of the trip to Turkey, is Wenger's biggest doubt after falling awkwardly on his neck agasint Villa.
"It's bad, yes," admitted Wenger, when asked about the extent of the right-back's injury. "He has a good chance to be out for Wednesday."
Gibbs was came off after just 29 minutes of the clash against Villa after sustaining a nasty facial wound in an aerial collision with Andreas Weimann, while Rosicky (knee) and Ramsey (ankle) picked up worrying knocks during the encounter. On Rosicky, Wenger added: "He was quite sharp against Aston Villa, so we cannot afford to lose him at the moment, because [Santi Cazorla is behind physically so he is not ready. "Yes, we are short for Wednesday, but we can only play with the players we have."