By Nick Teale
Arsène Wenger says Arsenal are working as hard as they can to get Thomas Vermaelen fit to face Manchester United.
But even if the Belgian does miss Sunday's Premier League clash, he is expected to return in time to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on February 7.
"The good news we have on Vermaelen is that there is no fracture," confirmed Wenger at his pre-match press conference. "We have to assess his knee today, there is still a small chance that he will play on Sunday.
"We will do the maximum to get him fit but at the moment it looks unlikely. It should be a very short-term injury.
"It looked to be a two-month problem, now at the latest he should be ready for the Chelsea game."
Wenger also confirmed that Eduardo's hamstring injury will keep him out of the United match, while Nicklas Bendtner is also a doubt as he struggles for match fitness after making his comeback from a groin injury as a second-half substitute at Aston Villa.
"Bendtner looks at bit short," said the manager. "But I have not picked the team yet. To start Bendtner is going through my mind, but he has only one training [session] and 20 minutes of action in three months.
"The only thing that is for sure from Wednesday night is we have lost Eduardo to a hamstring problem."
Abou Diaby and Fran Merida will also miss the game, along with long-term absentees Robin van Persie, Kieran Gibbs and Johan Djourou.