Arsenal forward Mesut Özil has admitted that he will be unavailable for another seven weeks with the knee ligament injury that has ruled him out since early October.
The Germany international was diagnosed with a partial ligament tear during the last international break after Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat to Chelsea on 5 October, and while it was initially hoped he may return in time for the busy Christmas schedule, the 25-year-old confirmed he will be sidelined until early in the new year.
“I have already been out for five weeks and will be out for another seven weeks,” Özil said at a Laureus event in Germany. “That is a really long time but that is the way it is in football sometimes. My head is held high and we look forward.”
The news will come as a further blow to Arsene Wenger, who is already without Olivier Giroud and Mathieu Debuchy due to long-term injuries, while the absence of the central defender Laurent Koscielny with tendinitis has perhaps been the biggest handicap to Arsenal.
The Gunners suffered their second Premier League defeat of the season at Swansea on Sunday, and are in seventh place in the Premier League table, 12 points behind the unbeaten leaders Chelsea. Arsenal’s next game is against Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on 22 November.