Arsene Wenger must aim to get Arsenal's Barclays Premier League title bid back on track against Wolves on Saturday with his plans for domestic and European success shattered by the loss of captain Cesc Fabregas for the rest of the campaign because of a broken leg.
Arsenal on Thursday night confirmed Fabregas had suffered small crack in his right fibula during the challenge with Barcelona captain Carles Puyol which led to their equaliser from the penalty spot as an action-packed Champions League quarter-final first leg ended 2-2 at Emirates Stadium.
The Spain international will need around six weeks recovery time, ruling him out of the end-of-season run-in, but at least he should be able to take part in the World Cup.
That, though, will prove no consolation to Wenger, who in the same match also saw both Russian Andrey Arshavin and veteran centre-back William Gallas - just fit after missing eight games with his calf problem - pick up injuries which will keep them out for around three weeks.
While Holland forward Robin van Persie is expected to be back in action by the end of April, Arsenal's challenge on both fronts could well be over by then.
With leaders Manchester United hosting Chelsea, the Gunners can close the current gap at the top of the table, which stands at four points, with victory over Wolves - who have won two of their last four games to pull clear of the drop zone.
"At the moment, we are like an army who have come back from a big battle," Wenger said. "We have some bruises, but we need to recover and then go to the next battle."
Full-back Gael Clichy (back) and midfielder Denilson (groin) will both be assessed later on Friday. Wenger, however, insists Arsenal have the strength and depth to overcome the injuries.
"We have (Mikael) Silvestre and (Sol) Campbell available," said the Gunners boss. "Then of course there is (Tomas) Rosicky and Eduardo. (Carlos) Vela is coming back too."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms