Arsenal will have to do without the newly fit and blazing Eduardo da Silva after fitness tests confirmed the Croatian will be sidelined for two weeks at most.
Many relished the 25-year-old’s comeback show on Monday and had been keen on Saturday’s home meeting with Sunderland for more but it now apppears that was only excerpts of things to come.
Incidentally, it was moments prior to his substitution that Eduardo hurt his hamstring, and will now return to the sidelines in the pursuit of full match fitness.
“Eduardo is out for two weeks,” confirmed Arsène Wenger “He picked up a hamstring injury two minutes before I took him off. What a nightmare.
“Nobody knows how it happened but I knew straight away after the game it would be a two-week job. It is nothing like he had before but I do know that little set-backs like this are part of being nine months out.
“After that long out, nobody plays six months on the trot. It is impossible.
“But at the same time it is a blow because, of course, he can score goals. He had shown that on Monday night.”
Eduardo’s absence on Saturday will be compensated by a now likely debut appearance from Andrey Arshavin.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed his solitary signing from last motnh’s transfer window is fit enough to play a part during this weekend’s crunch clash with Sunderland.
“He will be involved,” said Wenger. “But I have not decided what I will do with him yet.”
Wenger though, is adamant Arshavin can get through his transition time at the club and return to his peak, but insists patience is required.
“He is still working on preparation and he is not qualified for the game against Roma so we can give him another week of hard work,” said Wenger. “At the end of next week, that will be three weeks with us and one week with Zenit, that should be enough.”