Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker could be facing up to 5 months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
It is believed, the 31-year-old centre-back suffered the problem during Arsenal’s pre-season fixture with Lens on Friday but remained on the pitch to play the full 90 minutes.
Sky Sports claim the injury could be even worse than first feared with the club expected to make an announcement on the severity in the next 48 hours.
It’s understood Arsene Wenger offered Mertesacker the captaincy in the lead-up to the 2016/17 season following Mikel Arteta’s departure to Manchester City in the summer, so now it remains unclear who will receive the armband.
The news means Calum Chambers is Arsenal only fit senior centre-back on their pre-season tour of the United States.
Arsene Wenger’s side have problems at centre-back with Gabriel Paulista struggling with tonsillitis and Laurent Koscielny allowed an extended break after reaching the final of Euro 2016 with France.
Recent signing Rob Holding looks set to be thrust into the limelight as a result of the injury crisis.
Arsenal plays an MLS All-Star team on Friday and finish their tour against Chivas on Monday.
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has offered a positive injury update on Alexis Sanchez, despite the Chilean star missing their pre-season tour of the United States.
The 27-year-old attacker suffered a swollen ankle in the Copa America final against Argentina.
Sanchez shared an image of his ankle and Gooners were certainly terrified at the prospect of him missing the start the season.
But Wenger insisted the injury was ‘not too bad’, despite his absence from the tour.
The Frenchman also believes the bulk of his squad will be in good shape for the August 14 kick-off thanks to their own professionalism and a run of five friendlies in France, the United States, and Scandinavia.