Arsene Wenger has confirmed Aaron Ramsey will miss Arsenal’s visit of Chelsea on Saturday because of a hamstring injury.
The Gunners chief lifted the lid on the Wales international midfielder after he returned to training in the hope of being involved against the Blues in the early evening kick-off at the Emirates Stadium.
But Ramsey has suffered a light setback and is now set to be out until after next month’s international break.
There is better news for striker Olivier Giroud, who is back in training and possibly in line to play some part against Chelsea, while Gabriel (ankle), Per Mertesacker, Danny Welbeck and Carl Jenkinson (all knee) are still out.
“We have no new injuries, Aaron Ramsey is still struggling with his hamstring and will be not available for Basel (on Wednesday in the Champions League),” said Wenger on Friday.
“He has a small grade one (tear) hamstring but he is not completely free to push at the moment and he has a little bit of pain. He is in the last days of his rehabilitation.”
Looking ahead to the Chelsea game, Wenger is hoping his side can end a run of nine Premier League games without a win against their London rivals – stretching back to a 5-3 victory at Stamford Bridge in 2011.
However, he feels the Blues will be tough opponents under new boss Antonio Conte despite them failing to win their last two league games.
“He is doing well, because they have started very strong,” added Wenger. “They slowed down against Swansea (2-2) and lost (2-1 at home) to Liverpool, but he has done well.
“For me it (Arsenal v Chelsea) was always just a big game, the personal rivalry was never in my head. Chelsea in the last 10 years have very strong teams and you realise that again today.
“We feel we are progressing and we can change what I call the inconvenient facts of recent history.”