Fabregas out for three weeks
Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has been ruled out for up to three weeks with a hamstring problem and looks set to miss the showdown with Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea on October 3.
The Spain midfielder suffered the injury as he netted a freak goal at Sunderland on Saturday, the ball kicked into him by Anton Ferdinand and it looped back into the goal.
Fabregas, 23, had just been finding his form having returned late after reaching the World Cup final.
With Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner all still sidelined, the loss of another key man is an additional blow to manager Arsene Wenger
Fabregas last night used his personal Twitter account to reveal he hoped to be playing again in two weeks, saying: "I have some fluid but nothing bad in the muscle."
However, the official club line today was more cautious.
"Arsenal Football Club have confirmed that Cesc Fabregas will be out for two to three weeks," a statement read.
"The Spanish midfielder gave the visitors an early lead at Sunderland on Saturday but then picked up a hamstring injury. He was substituted just before the half-hour. The extent of the injury was discovered after a scan on Monday afternoon."
Fabregas would not have been included in the squad for tonight's Carling Cup third-round tie at Tottenham, with Wenger again set to use a combination of fringe and youth players.
The Gunners skipper will also miss Saturday's visit of West Brom, as well as next week's trip to Partizan Belgrade in the Champions League, and it remains to be seen whether he has recovered in time to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on October 3.
Wenger, meanwhile, could decide to serve a one-match ban at White Hart Lane tonight after being charged with improper conduct by the Football Association for his behaviour towards officials at the conclusion of the game at Sunderland, where the hosts netted an equaliser in the fifth minute of added time.
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Sami Khedira to Arsenal? Arsene Wenger reveals Gunners are still in the market for defensive midfielder
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Risky business to think Balotelli can replace Luis Suarez
Malky Mackay texts: Harry Redknapp defends former Cardiff City manger - 'he hasn't raped anyone and he is not a paedophile'
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians