Arsene Wenger is braced for gloomy news as Arsenal await a specialist's verdict on the tibia injury that could leave Olivier Giroud facing a significant spell on the sidelines.
Giroud has been ruled out of Wednesday night's Champions League qualifier against Besiktas with the shin problem sustained in Saturday's draw with Everton.
It is feared the 27-year-old could be absent for two to three months, robbing Arsenal of their first choice striker just three games into the season.
"On Sunday he had a medical check and he needed to have further investigations," said Wenger, who revealed an announcement will be made over his fitness on Wednesday afternoon or evening.
"The first news wasn't fantastic, but I'm not a doctor so I wait for tomorrow's (Wednesday's) complete examination and decision over how long he'll be out for.
"It can be (long term), we'll see. I don't know (if it's broken). It's sad for us, but for the moment we are focused on the game."
Wenger may be forced into the transfer market in search of a replacement if Giroud is missing for any length of time. The Frenchman, however, refuses to panic buy before the window closes on Monday.
"We have plenty of players at centre forward. In England as soon as you have a problem, people want you to buy," he said.
How Arsenal could replace Olivier Giroud
How Arsenal could replace Olivier Giroud
1/9 Wilfried Bony
The Swansea striker had an impressive first season in Wales scoring 16 goals in the Premier League and 25 in all competitions. He has the strength and pace to operate as a lone striker and is technically good enough to fit in at Arsenal. he is believed to want a move to a bigger club and Swansea previously said they wouldn't stand in his way, with an offer of around £16m reported to be enough.
2/9 Radamel Falcao
The best attainable No 9 in European football, Radamel Falcao has been a target for Real Madrid all summer and Arsenal could beat them to the Monaco player’s signature. Although he missed most of the year – and the World Cup finals – with a knee ligament injury, Arsenal could sign the Colombian on loan, though they would not get much change from £20m in that deal.
3/9 Marco Reus
The German's release clause is a well known staple of this transfer window - Reus is available for a cut-price £20m next year. This could mean the versatile young star is available for a bit more now, with Borussia Dortmund perhaps keen to cash in. However recent history shows they are happy to keep their players to be stronger now. Robert Lewandowski stayed an extra season before moving on a free to Bayern Munich this summer.
4/9 Edinson Cavani
The Uruguayan was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal or Chelsea earlier this summer and his agent even said Cavani was interested in coming to England. He was reported to be unhappy at playing second fiddle to Zlatan Ibrahimovic but those fears seemed to have been allayed. He is truly world class and scored 25 goals last season, but he will not be cheap and with Giroud expected to be out before the turn of the year it may be a bit of a stretch to have both of these men in the squad.
5/9 Julian Draxler
Julian Draxler was the talk of the town in January when Arsenal made a reported £37m bid for the German. That mammoth bid, Draxler admitted, went to the 20-year-old's head and his form dipped - he scored just six goals in all competitions last year. But the youngster is still clearly talented and should find his form again, while it will not take anywhere near that previous price to seal a deal this time.
6/9 Theo Walcott
Since Arsene Wenger first started playing Theo Walcott on the right pundits have opined that he will eventually move back into a central role. Now 25, no such move has taken place. Walcott had a great year in 2012-13 scoring 21 goals in all competitions but managed less than 20 appearances last term. He is due back in mid-September and could, finally, see a role as Arsenal's main man.
7/9 Lukas Podolski
The popular German has been linked with a move to either Juventus or back to Germany but Arsene Wenger may now decide to put that move on hold. He is an excellent finisher and has a good scoring record in his two years at the club, with 28 goals from 69 matches. However, when he has played through the middle he has neither the pace nor the strength to really operate as a lone striker.
8/9 Alexis Sanchez
Impressed for Barcelona when played as a 'false 9' last season, Sanchez was terrible at Goodison Park in a similar position and was hauled off after 45 minutes. It will take time for the little Chilean to get used to the physicality of the Premier League, but he has the technical ability to succeed. However, a role as a lone striker may be too much in the early stages of his Arsneal career - he should be given more time to settle in.
9/9 Yaya Sanogo
Yet to score a goal for the club in 15 senior matches, Sanogo managed to bag four in a pre-season friendly against Monaco. The youngster is a gifted athlete but very raw technically, and it would be a mistake for Wenger to consider him adequate cover for Giroud.
"Unfortunately, I can give you some clubs that every time they lose a game they say they might need to buy more.
"We are 24 hours from a big game and our focus is more on that than the transfer window.
"I've learnt one thing in our job - you say nothing categorically."
Summer signing Alexis Sanchez could operate as the lone striker against Besiktas, although doubts have been raised over his ability to perform the role.
Sanchez was replaced at half-time at Goodison following an ineffective 45 minutes as the focal point of Arsenal's attack, but Wenger is convinced he can operate as more than a winger.
"You do not convict a player on one half. It was not all bad what he did, there was some quality in what he did," Wenger said.
"It was just that on the day we needed more physical presence. When you're 2-0 down you don't play counter attack."
Yaya Sanogo, Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell are also options, although it is Sanogo, who missed out against Everton because of a hamstring injury, who is most likely to start.
Wenger, who ruled out Podolski leaving in the transfer window, is confident he has the options to cover for Giroud's absence in the second leg of the qualifier at the Emirates Stadium.
"Yes of course, why should I not have that confidence?" Wenger said.
"Nobody can image that when one player is missing, no matter how big the player is, the team can't win a game any more."
Arsenal are seeking a 17th successive season in the lucrative group stage of the Champions League, but Wenger insists it would not be a financial disaster should they fail to qualify.
The first leg finished in a goalless draw in Istanbul.
"It will affect us because we'll have less income, but it will not affect our balance sheet in a dramatic way because we can survive without that," Wenger said.
"We want to be in the Champions League because we want to play top level football.
"Financially we've always adapted. When we had small resources, we always adapted to having small resources."
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