Arsenal hopeful of Alexis return within a month

The Chilean is expected to miss a month with the hamstring injury sustained against Norwich as the Gunners continue their assessments

GOALBy Greg Stobart

Arsenal are hopeful that Alexis Sanchez will be out of action for no more than a month as they continue to assess his hamstring injury.

Initial tests suggest that the injury that forced Alexis off during Sunday’s draw with Norwich is not as serious as first feared, with further assessment expected to reveal the full extent of the injury on Wednesday.

The Gunners hope that Alexis might even return for the big Premier League match against Manchester City on December 21, but it is most likely that the Chilean will miss the entire festive period.

Alexis, 26, will certainly be unavailable for next week’s crucial Champions League clash away at Olympiakos, as will Santi Cazorla after the Spaniard suffered a knee injury at Carrow Road.

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Cazorla’s injury means that Aaron Ramsey is expected to return to his preferred central midfield role. There is a hope that Theo Walcott will return from a calf problem in the next week to compete for a wide place in the team with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Campbell and Kieran Gibbs as the north London club try to cope with their injury crisis.

Arsene Wenger has 10 players either injured or doubtful for Saturday’s home fixture against Sunday, with the likes of Francis Coquelin, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere all long-term absentees.

The Arsenal manager admitted last week that Alexis had been struggling with “a little hamstring alarm” before the forward pulled up clutching the back of his leg an hour into Sunday’s match.