By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Aaron Ramsey is set to be out for up to another six weeks after sustaining a fresh thigh injury, Goal has learned.
The midfielder returned to full training on Monday following a five-week absence with a thigh problem and had been earmarked to make his return to the Arsenal team for their trip to Southampton, where they drew 2-2 on Tuesday night.
But Ramsey was ruled out after aggravating a tendon under his thigh muscle in training and Goal has learned that he is now expected to be sidelined for between four and six weeks. The 23-year-old broke down in the game drills and was immediately sent for a scan, which revealed the full extent of the damage on Tuesday.
Wenger later confirmed the bad news, although he refused to give a timeline on the player's return. "Ramsey is out for longer than we expected," Wenger said after the Southampton match. "He had a little setback in training, it's the same muscle. I hope it's not for too long but certainly not [available] for Sunday's game."
It is a huge blow to Arsenal hopes of winning the Premier League title and progressing beyond the last-16 stage of the Champions League. They face Bayern Munich in the first leg on February 19 to end a demanding 11-day run of fixtures in which they place Manchester United and Liverpool twice.
Ramsey had already been out since suffering a grade two thigh strain in Arsenal’s Boxing Day win over West Ham.
He had been Arsenal’s outstanding contributor in the first half of the season, scoring 13 goals in 26 Premier League and Champions League matches.