Arsenal sweat on Cesc after Van Persie blow

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Arsenal will be without Robin van Persie for next week's Champions League last 16 second-leg tie against Barcelona but may be boosted by the return of Cesc Fabregas.

Van Persie sustained a knee injury in Sunday's dramatic Carling Cup final loss against Birmingham and will now be sidelined for at least three weeks put Arsene Wenger is hoping for more positive news on his talismanic skipper.

"Unfortunately, we had bad news on the scan and he [Van Persie] will be out for the next three weeks for sure," said the Arsenal boss.

"It could be longer. The shortest delay we can imagine is three weeks [so] he is definitely out for Barcelona. Cesc is looking possible [for that game]. He is making quick and good progress. It is possible."


Fabrgeas limped off after just 14 minutes with a hamstring strain during last week's 1-0 victory over Stoke - a game in which Theo Walcott was stretchered off; subsequently ruling him out of Arsenal's trip to the Nou Camp.

A broken leg prevented Fabregas playing in Barcelona for the Champions League quarter final last season and the Arsenal midfielder is hopeful he will be fit enough to avenge the 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Catalan giants.

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Robin Van Persie
UEFA Champions League
Francesc Fabregas

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