Aaron Ramsey is set to miss up to eight weeks of Arsenal's season after his hamstring injury was found to be much worse than first expected, reports The Independent.
The Arsenal midfielder was forced out of the 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend after sustaining the injury late in the first half. Initially, Arsene Wenger had suggested he would miss three to four weeks but the report suggests that prognosis was incorrect.
It is a huge blow for Ramsey, who missed three months of last season with a troublesome thigh injury. Having signed an improved £100,000-a-week contract, the hope was that a fully fit Welshman was set to inspire a title charge at the Emirates.
Now, Ramsey looks set to miss around two months of Arsenal's season and may not return until the busy Christmas period. With Mikel Arteta out and Jack Wilshere struggling –as always – with his ankle, Wenger is desperately short of midfield talent.
Arteta could be back from his calf strain after the international break while Wilshere made a cameo appearance in the 4-1 win against Galatasaray on Wednesday. Wilshere is likely to feature against Chelsea at the weekend, but doubts remain over his ability to play two games a week.
Although the report surfaced on Friday morning, Wenger was quick to deny such reports. The Frenchman says the Arsenal medical team are confident Ramsey can be back within four weeks.
He said to reporters: "I've been told he could be out for three to four weeks, so I count four."
That would put the 23-year-old well in contention to face Manchester United on November 22 and the crunch Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund four days later.
Although missing for a large part of the season, Ramsey still finished as Arsenal's second top scorer behind Olivier Giroud. The Wales international scored 10 goals in just 20 Premier League starts from midfield and provided eight assists.
His form surpassed that of £42 million superstar Mesut Ozil, whose own form dipped in the absence of the energetic Ramsey.
Arsenal have been widely criticised for their inability to stop players get injured and the addition of fitness expect Shad Forsythe has done little to curb to issue.