Wojciech Szczesny feels ‘very down’ after Arsenal’s Champions League exit to Barcelona & fears the worst over injury

Pole had to be replaced by Manuel Almunia in the first half
By Wayne Veysey at Nou Camp

Wojciech Szczesny admitted he feels "very down" after Arsenal’s Champions League elimination and fears the worst as he awaits the verdict on Wednesday on the finger injury he sustained in the Nou Camp.

Arsene Wenger said the club’s medical staff believe Szczesny dislocated the middle finger on his left hand after saving a routine long-range shot from Dani Alves when the score was goal-less early in Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat to Barcelona on Tuesday night. He had a lengthy period of treatment on the pitch before being substituted and replaced by Manuel Almunia.

Szczesny, who was wearing strapping on two fingers afterwards and had an iced towel to reduce the swelling, is not hopeful about a speedy recovery.

He will have further treatment at the club’s London Colney training base before a diagnosis is made, although there are fears the promising Pole could have played his last game for the club this season.

“Right now I’m very down,” Szczesny said after the game. “Let’s hope it’s not as bad as it could possibly be. Of course, I’m worried I might be out for some time.

“I’ll find out tomorrow what is happening. It’s part of the game and there is nothing I can do at the moment. I knew straight away I would have to come off and spent half-time with the doctor trying to find out what is wrong with my finger.”

The goalkeeper’s injury is another headache for Wenger as he contemplates a growing injury list following an exit from the Champions League made even more fraught by Robin van Persie’s red card.

“We have seen him in the dressing room,” said Szczesny. “He is terribly disappointed, as you can probably understand. We are all massively disappointed about the way it happened. At that point we all thought we would go through.

“It doesn’t really matter [about the red] because we have lost the game and you have to move on. It was enjoyable for 70 minutes. It’s just a shame it went the way it did.”

Szczesny called on Arsenal to be positive as they prepare for a twin assault on the Premier League and FA Cup, starting with Saturday’s trip to Manchester United.

“We are confident we can go through these competitions,” said the Pole. “We are in a good way. Let’s stay positive. What will make it easier is we have a big game coming up.”

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