Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was forced to concede that Laurent Koscielny's losing his battle against chronic tendinitis in his Achilles tendons, which means that the Gunners could still be without their defensive linchpin in December.
Koscielny's been nursing the problem since the summer and was finally forced to accept a prolonged spell on the sidelines after being sent home from international duty by France last month.
The 29-year-old has already missed seven matches in all competitions this season, but Wenger's warned Arsenal fans this afternoon that he might be out for a while longer yet.
Man United match looks highly unlikely
Arsenal had been cautiously targeting getting Koscielny back into contention for their first match after the upcoming international break, a massive showdown against Manchester United at the Emirates on November 22nd.
Wenger attempted to downplay that timeline for recovery with an update on the centre-back's progress today, telling the official club website: "Koscielny has a little chance to be back after the international break."
Injury crisis is finally easing
Koscielny's slow progress is probably the worst news Wenger had to report ahead of Sunday's trip to Swansea City, although the loss of Mikel Arteta to a grade one hamstring strain is also a concern.
Wenger's been without a host of first-team regulars for large chunks of the season already, with Mesut Ozil, David Ospina and Mathieu Debuchy all still sidelined in the long-term.
Olivier Giroud should be back in full training, but his great mate Koscielny won't be there to join him and is most likely struggling to be back and anywhere near full tilt until December at the very earliest.
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