Arsenal hit by Bendtner injury blow

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed striker Nicklas Bendtner will miss the start of the Barclays Premier League season due to a persistent groin injury.

Bendtner, 22, underwent surgery last November but the injury hampered his World Cup campaign and he will not ready for Arsenal's opener against Liverpool on August 15.

Wenger also fears he could also be without Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie, who played against each other in the World Cup final and are not due back until August 5.

"Bendtner will not be available for the start of the season," Wenger said.

"Fabregas and Van Persie are due to come back on August 5 and from then on we will see how much build-up work is needed physically and as well how they have recovered mentally from the World Cup.

"They might be short for the first game [of the season] but I don't know, that will depend on the fitness work they have done during the holiday."

Denilson and Abou Diaby are both expected to be fit for Arsenal's final pre-season match, against Legia Warsaw on August 7.

"Denilson should be [fit] - maybe not for the Emirates Cup but for the Warsaw game and Diaby as well," Wenger added on Arsenal.com.

Johan Djourou suffered a hamstring injury in Arsenal's 4-0 win over SC Neusiedl 1919 last night, while Tomas Rosicky missed the match with a groin problem.

But Wenger eased concerns over both players, saying: "Djourou has a small hamstring problem but it is not bad.

"Rosicky had a small, small alert. He was supposed to play in the first half. He could have played. I didn't want to take the gamble."

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