Arsenal’s title hopes have taken a knock with the news that Jack Wilshire is not yet fit enough to take to the field.
Wilshire picked up a hairline fracture of his ankle at the start of August and is yet to feature this season.
It had been widely reported that the midfielder would be fit and ready to play after the recent international break but that is not the case.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has revealed that he has suffered a setback in his return from the injury and will not be available for the clash with Stoke at home on Saturday, claiming he has no update on when he will be available again.
“I have not seen Jack in the last two or three days,” Wenger said. “He is progressing slowly. It is slower than expected as I expected him to be back and available after the break, but unfortunately he will not be available for Saturday. He had a little setback and I have to know about it but I can’t tell you much more as I have no medical information.”
Despite a patchy start to the campaign, Arsenal remain favourites to pick up the win on Saturday and are priced at 1.30, while the draw is 5.25 and Stoke are 11.00 to cause an upset.
It is the latest in a long line of injury problems for the player, who missed five months of last season with another fracture of the same ankle and who was absent for the whole of 2011-12 season.
Meanwhile, Arsenal maintain that striker Danny Welbeck could return to first team action by Christmas despite suggestions he will be out until March having undergone an operation on his injured knee.