Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Mathieu Debuchy suffered a dislocated right shoulder during yesterday's 3-0 win over Stoke City, after a nasty collision with the advertising hoardings.
Stoke winger Marko Arnautovic gave the French defender a rather unnecessary shove into the ground with the ball sailing harmlessly out of play in the early going at the Emirates, enough to leave Debuchy nursing his second serious injury of the season.
Wenger was without the experienced right-back for much of the first half of the season and has now confirmed he'll miss at least next weekend's crunch clash with Manchester City, with his absence almost certain to extend well into February depending on the extent of the damage done.
Another injury headache for Wenger
X-ray machines installed at the Emirates helped Arsenal diagnose Debuchy's injury quickly, allowing Wenger to concede it's bad news immediately following a convincing victory over the Potters.
Wenger told the Daily Mail: "He has a dislocated shoulder. It is difficult (to say how long he will be out) - you need a diagnosis from a specialist. We don't know yet, but he will certainly not play next week"
Bellerin stepped up with strong display
The Gunners boss was forced to swap Debuchy for Spanish starlet Hector Bellerin after just 13 minutes of their latest Premier League showdown, but the young right-back enjoyed an excellent afternoon after his unplanned introduction.
Bellerin used his pace and ability to have an instant impact on the match and keep the rather fortunate Arnautovic quiet, but will need to find yet another level if he's thrown in against City next week.
Yet again this season Wenger is without a string of first-choice defenders, with Kieran Gibbs also on the sidelines nursing an inflamed ankle ligament injury.
Arsenal fans desperate for Wenger to go into the market and add quality in that problem position will surely not be appeased by next Sunday, so it's up to the current crop to step up and compensate for Debuchy's absence once again with the pressure on at the Etihad.