Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Lucas Perez faces a significant spell on the sidelines.
Perez suffered ankle ligament damage during this week’s EFL Cup win against Reading and is expected to be out for up to eight weeks.
He was taken off following a 72nd-minute challenge from Reading central defender Danzell Gravenberch.
The 28-year-old has started just one league match for the Gunners since this summer move to the Emirates Stadium from Spanish club Deportivo.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s game at Sunderland, Wenger said: “We have lost Perez for a while with an ankle injury.
“Hopefully he will recover, but I think it will be six to eight weeks out. It’s very frustrating.”
On a brighter note for Arsenal, Olivier Giroud is back and Aaron Ramsey has been included in the squad for the trip to Wearside.
Ramsey has not featured since suffering a hamstring injury against Liverpool on the opening day of the season.
Meanwhile, Arsenal will need to assess the fitness of Theo Walcott, Nacho Monreal and Santi Cazorla, who are all nursing knocks.
As for Perez, his injury means he is set to miss a busy November for the Gunners, which includes a north London derby against rivals Tottenham.
Arsenal will also face Ludogorets and Paris St-Germain in the Champions League, Southampton in the EFL Cup quarter-final and Premier League matches against Manchester United and Bournemouth.
Perez scored twice in Arsenal’s 4-0 win at Nottingham Forest in the third round of the EFL Cup last month.
He also impressed during the Reading game and was praised for his performance by Wenger.