Fabio Vieira is set to miss a number of weeks after undergoing a groin operation, Mikel Arteta has revealed.
The midfielder missed the win over Brentford on Saturday through suspension following his red card against Burnley and has now been dealt a further setback.
“Yeah we’ve got a problem with him, he’s been having some discomfort,” Arteta said.
“We tried to have some conservative treatment with him. It wasn’t improving so we sent him to see a specialist and the advice was to have an operation in his groin.
“We did that yesterday. We expect him to be out for weeks now.”
And asked whether he could return before the January break, Arteta added: “We don’t expect him to do that.
“Let’s see how he evolves. The job was done yesterday so we’ll have to wait and see. It will take weeks I think.”
Arteta is hoping to have Ben White available for Wednesday’s home tie with Lens in the Champions League, however, after the defender was left out of the starting line-up against Brentford due to a muscle issue.
“He trained the day before the Brentford game and was feeling good, I think he’ll be available for this game. That’s very good news for us.”
Vieira’s absence leaves Arteta with limited options in midfield, however, given Thomas Partey also remains sidelined through injury, something the Arsenal boss acknowledged.
“Yes but it’s what it is,” he said.
“We’ve been very unlucky with some of the injuries and some of them happen to any club.
“We are not the only club with injuries. Where they happened, it’s a bit critical, the one with
Jurrien as well, we are really light in the defensive line. That was a huge blow.
“The team needs to find ways to adapt and keep winning games.”
Emile Smith-Rowe is another absentee alongside Partey but Arteta says it is possible that both could be back before the January break.
“It is a possibility but it will depend how they evolve,” he explained.
“Emile has already been on the pitch, doing some jogging. I don’t know weeks wise how long it’s going to take. Emile is a quick healer.
“Thomas is the same. They are both going to push but we have to make sure when they come back they are at their best as well.
“We don’t want to rush them but as well the team needs them because at the moment we are missing some key, key players as well.”