Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin will be sidelined for four weeks in a big injury blow for the Gunners, but Arsene Wenger is still hopeful Alexis Sanchez will be fit for Saturday’s game at Manchester United.
Bellerin took a kick to his ankle against Tottenham Hotspur before the international break and had to pull out of Spain’s under-21 squad after it flared up in training.
Wenger confirmed on Thursday that the Spaniard will be out for a month, dealing a big injury blow to the Gunners ahead of a crucial part of the season.
“Hector is out for about four weeks,” Wenger said at his news conference ahead of the United game. “He got injured in the last 10 seconds against Spurs on a very strong tackle from Danny Rose.”
The injury is a big blow to Arsenal as Bellerin will miss the trip to United and next week’s crucial Champions League game against Paris Saint-Germain.
Santi Cazorla also remains sidelined for the United match, with Wenger unsure when the midfielder will be fit to return from an Achilles problem.
“Santi is still out,” he said. “He’s not even out in training yet so I don’t know when he’ll be back.”
However, Wenger is hoping Sanchez will recover from playing a World Cup qualifier with Chile despite a minor thigh injury.
“He texted us back that he’s in good shape after the game,” Wenger said. “Then we have to wait. I see him tomorrow morning and will see if he can be involved in the squad or not.”
Sanchez missed Chile’s first qualifier last week but played against Uruguay with his thigh bandaged and scored twice in a 3-1 win. Wenger said he will have to make a judgment call on whether playing Sanchez will risk long-term damage.
“What I will consider basically is the risk of injury, because he played with a hamstring injury,” Wenger said. “The way he feels as well. On that front you depend a lot on the honesty of the player, how they feel and how they’ll recover.”
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