Arsenal are facing up to the prospect that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may need surgery after suffering another setback on a recurring groin problem, reports The Mail.
Medical staff at Arsenal's London Colney have been trying to eradicate the problem for the past several months, but are reaching a loose end. They have been managing the injury for most of the season, but there is now a fear that surgery will be required.
Arsene Wenger is keen to explore every option before agreeing to let the winger go under the knife and has until the end of the season to decide. Surgery would mean Oxlade-Chamberlain would have to undergo a process of rehabilitation before pre-season and would prevent him from having the break his team-mates would get.
Wenger expects the 21-year-old to play a part in the latter stages of this season, but he will miss out on the FA Cup semi-final clash against Reading. The setback is likely to keep him out for approximately two weeks.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has had a frustrating time with injury in the last 12 months. A knee problem prevented him from establishing himself as a regular in the England squad prior to the World Cup. Roy Hodgson still took him to Brazil, but he did not feature before the Three Lions crashed out.
A decent season will almost certify his involvement in Euro 2016, should England qualify as expected. But for now his biggest concern is getting rid of the ongoing problem in his groin, of which the root cause remains a mystery.
Walcott's big chance
While bad news for Oxlade-Chamberlain, his injury problems may give Theo Walcott the chance to salvage his Arsenal career. The 26-year-old has played a peripheral part in Arsenal's season despite recovering from a serious knee injury in December.
With just 12 months left on his contract there seems to be some doubt from both the club and Walcott over his long-term future. It seems Arsenal have moved on in Walcott's absence, but Oxlade-Chamberlain's injury represents his best opportunity to win his place back.
Arsenal face huge games against Manchester United, Chelsea and, of course, have an excellent chance to win the FA Cup. A good performance in any of these games would help to rebuild Walcott's reputation.
Can Theo Walcott win his place back or are his days as an Arsenal star over? Give us your opinion in the comment box below!