Gunners confirm Fabregas absence

The Spain midfielder suffered the injury as he netted a freak goal

at Sunderland on Saturday, the ball kicked into him by Anton

Ferdinand and it looped back into the goal. Fabregas, 23, had just

been finding his form having returned late after reaching the World

Cup final. With Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner

all still sidelined, the loss of another key man is an additional

blow to manager Arsene Wenger Fabregas last night used his personal

Twitter account to reveal he hoped to be playing again in two

weeks, saying: “I have some fluid but nothing bad in the muscle.”

However, the official club line today was more cautious. “Arsenal

Football Club have confirmed that Cesc Fabregas will be out for two

to three weeks,” a statement read. “The Spanish midfielder gave the

visitors an early lead at Sunderland on Saturday but then picked up

a hamstring injury. He was substituted just before the half-hour.

The extent of the injury was discovered after a scan on Monday

afternoon.” Fabregas would not have been included in the squad for

tonight’s Carling Cup third-round tie at Tottenham, with Wenger

again set to use a combination of fringe and youth players. The

Gunners skipper will also miss Saturday’s visit of West Brom, as

well as next week’s trip to Partizan Belgrade in the Champions

League, and it remains to be seen whether he has recovered in time

to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on October 3. Wenger, meanwhile,

could decide to serve a one-match ban at White Hart Lane tonight

after being charged with improper conduct by the Football

Association for his behaviour towards officials at the conclusion

of the game at Sunderland, where the hosts netted an equaliser in

the fifth minute of added time.