Arsene Wenger is not sure whether he will rest Alexis Sanchez against Norwich City on Sunday despite the Chilean suffering a minor injury.
Arsenal, already missing a host of first-team players, have been hit by the news that Francis Coquelin faces three months on the sidelines after injuring his knee in the defeat at West Brom last weekend.
However, the Gunners welcomed back Aaron Ramsey from a hamstring problem as a late substitute in the midweek Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could also return at Carrow Road, while fellow England international Theo Walcott is back in training and is close to a comeback.
But the likes of Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta all in the treatment room alongside Coquelin.
Wenger said at his press conference on Thursday: “(The injury to) Arteta is short term, but Coquelin as I told you is much longer, but the scans are positive because he does not need any surgery, but it will be 12 weeks.
“Walcott goes through a few tests and steps but the first one was successful. He started running again on Tuesday morning and had no reaction. He has no big hurdle to get across today and hopefully he will be successful.”
The injury list means Wenger may continue to play Sanchez despite his recent exertions for both club and country.
The Chile forward played 90 minutes against Dinamo, scoring his first goals since mid-October, but sustained a minor hamstring problem.
Asked if the likely returns of Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain would give him the opportunity to rest Sanchez at Norwich, Wenger said: “I will have to assess that a bit later.
“Spontaneously it might not be the best moment to rest Alexis, but I don’t know. He had a little hamstring alarm but we will see how he recovers from that. Joel Campbell had a little calf problem so I will assess all that Friday, latest Saturday.”
On the face of it, a trip to newly-promoted Norwich will be seen by many as a good place to collect three points in Arsenal’s quest to maintain a title challenge.
But Wenger knows it will not always be as straightforward as that after he saw his side humbled at The Hawthorns by Tony Pulis’ West Brom.
“For us, it was a bad result,” he said.
“But on the day everything went against us, they had one shot on target and scored two goals. That will not always happen.
“On top of that we missed a penalty and scored an own goal, so we had a nightmare. It was an unlucky day, that can happen in a season but after it is how you respond to that and we did that well on Tuesday.”