Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed Alexis Sánchez will not be risked in their FA Cup third-round fixture against Sunderland on Saturday.
Earlier it had been suggested that the Chilean attacker could be fit to return to action when Arsenal host Sunderland this weekend after suffering from the latest hamstring setback, but Gunners boss has now confirmed that Sanchez is still recovering and will not play the FA Cup tie.
The Chilean striker sustained the injury in the 1-1 draw against Norwich on 29th November and has not played for Arsenal since.
Wenger said: “The bad news of the week is that Alexis is not quite ready. It is a precaution because of his hamstring, and it takes a few more days. He’s not bad but he’s not ready.”
The Gunners will also be without Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Francis Coquelin who are still out with injury but Mikel Arteta is finally available.
He further said: “Nothing’s changed [from the original timescale] with Santi. It could be a bit shorter with him because he’s often quicker [to recover] than you expect him to be. Cazorla and Coquelin are doing well.
“Tomas Rosicky is not far, he’s back in full training next week, so should be available soon. Mikel is available.”
However, there are no new injury concerns for Arsenal, but Wenger is yet to decide whether to include some younger players in the tie against Sunderland or not.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott sustained injuries in the Capital One Cup defeat against Sheffield Wednesday earlier this season, and Arsenal boss now doesn’t want to lose another of his key players
“The team news is that, from last week, we have no big injuries, and the squad will be similar to the squad who played the last game against Newcastle,” he said. “Will a young player or two start? I haven’t decided yet.
“The thinking is to give absolutely everything to qualify. We are the holders of the Cup and I know as well by experience that it is very important that you get in the competition and that you have a successful third round.
“It’s a tricky one, always, the third round.”