Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Alexis Sanchez faces a further spell on the sidelines after suffering a ‘little setback’ during his recovery from a hamstring injury.
The Chilean originally sustained the injury during last month’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Norwich and he has missed the Gunners’ last four matches in all competitions.
The 27-year-old had been expected to return to the north London club’s match-day squad for Monday night’s 2-1 victory over Manchester City, but Wenger has now confirmed that the forward is unlikely to return to action until the second week in January.
He said: “Sanchez will be back for around the 10th January. He had a little setback. He was planned to be on the bench tonight [Monday]. We didn’t take a gamble at all.”
Should the Frenchman’s prognosis prove accurate then Sanchez will miss the upcoming league matches against Southampton, Bournemouth and Newcastle, as well as the FA Cup third round tie with Sunderland.
The former Barcelona player’s first game back could be the league encounter with Liverpool on January 13 and the Gunners will be hoping to continue their fine run of form during the intervening period.
Arsenal moved to within two points of league leaders Leicester with their victory over City and have now won their last three league games.
The Emirates outfit will take on Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday and are available at 2.10 to continue their winning streak, while the Saints are on offer at 3.60 and the draw is priced at 3.40.