Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey was ruled out for up to a month by Arsene Wenger on Friday, with the Welshman picking up a thigh injury in midweek.
With the Gunners faltering in their bid to end their 12-year wait for a Premier League title, the last thing that Wenger needed was another injury to add to an already lengthy list of absentees.
While there was some relief in that Ramsey wasn’t ruled out for the remainder of the season, it is still certainly a setback for the north London giants.
“No, he’s not out for the season. I don’t think that,” he told reporters, as noted by Sky Sports.
“His clinical signs are quite positive, and I would say four weeks. It’s a bit worse than what i thought because usually when a player gets injured he stops – I had the feeling it was just a precaution and he would be fit for Sunday.”
With the likes of Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Petr Cech already ruled out, Arsenal will face a real test of their resolve and desire to win a league title.
After a poor run of form, they got back to winning ways in the FA Cup in midweek with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Hull City.
However, with another creative central midfielder sidelined, they have lost an important asset in their ability to break down opposing sides.
In turn, there is a risk of the Gunners being left frustrated in the upcoming games against the likes of Everton and Watford, and as they already trail Leicester City by eight points, it is a worrying time for Wenger and his men.
Ramsey will be relieved that he will be able to feature at some stage this season, and will likely recover in time and be fully fit to play his part at Euro 2016 with Wales.
However, it won’t be of any consolation to Wenger who needs to find a way to silence the boo boys and get the supporters back onside ahead of a crucial period of his tenure at the Emirates.