Arsène Wenger may try to draft in Kolo Toure straight from the African Nations Cup for Monday's night game against Blackburn at Emirates Stadium.
The Arsenal manager admits his side is "down to the bare bones" with 11 players out or doubtful. The roll call is as follows: Emmanuel Eboue, Alex Song (both international duty), Johan Djourou (groin), Philippe Senderos (knee) Robin van Persie (thigh), Abou Diaby (calf), Mathieu Flamini (hamstring), Manuel Almunia (sick), Denilson (hamstring) and Tomas Rosicky (hamstring). If Toure does figure he is likely to be fatigued from a tough tournament in Ghana. But, with Senderos considered a "major doubt", the manager thinks it will be worth making some calls.
"I don't know," said Wenger at his pre-match press conference on Friday. "Ivory Coast play on Saturday afternoon. I have not called him yet but I will try to see if he can take a flight from Accra to London. Otherwise it will be Gilberto, who is back, or Justin Hoyte at centre half.
"Rosicky, van Persie and Djourou are out. Almunia is a doubt. His thumb is OK but he is sick. We'll see tomorrow and Sunday about him.
"On top of that we don't have Eboue and Song. Also we lost Diaby with a calf problem and we might have lost Flamini with a hamstring. He had to move out from the French national team.
"Philippe Senderos came off injured in midweek with a medial knee ligament and is a major doubt. He has played with it before and we'll see on Monday. I don't rule him out completely and he is positive about it. Our medical team are a bit less. He wants to test it out over the weekend.
"Diaby, in fairness, picked the injury up at Man City. We sent him on international duty with information explaining that he was injured and they did not play him.
"But overall we are very, very short and it is down to the bare bones."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 8 Feb 2008