By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger is concerned that Arsenal have slipped into an injury 'spiral' this season.
The manager started the week with 10 of his first-team squad on the sidelines: long-term absentees Robin van Persie, Kieran Gibbs and Johan Djourou plus Theo Walcott, Denilson, Nicklas Bendtner, Aaron Ramsey, Fran Merida, Samir Nasri and Jack Wilshere.
Two of those, Walcott and Denilson, have recovered from respective hamstring and rib injuries to take their place in the squad for Wednesday night's Premier League clash with Bolton, but that still leaves eight walking wounded.
It's a testament to the depth of Arsenal's squad that they have maintained their challenge at home and in Europe despite missing so many players. But what lies behind this season's injury woes?
Wenger has left no stone unturned in his search for a cause and he believes that Arsenal have been plunged into a spiral of injuries whereby their reliance on a smaller group of fit players makes them more susceptible to new injuries.
"We have analysed absolutely everything," said the manager.
"It’s strange because the more injuries you get, you then seem to get even more because you always play the same players.
"Also, you rush some players back and then you have more chance to get them injured again."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 19 Jan 2010