By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Arsenal ace Aaron Ramsey is set to be out for another six weeks after sustaining a tendon injury.
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 Gunners squad for their trip to Southampton, where they drew 2-2 on Tuesday night.
"Ramsey is out for longer than we expected," Wenger told reporters afterwards. "He had a little setback in training, it's the same muscle."
But Ramsey has sustained a fresh tendon injury rather than a setback with the previous complaint, and he is expected to be sidelined for between four and six weeks.
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 has been out of action 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.