Arsene Wenger has revealed that striker Lucas Perez will be out for eight weeks with an ankle injury.
The Spaniard, signed from Deportivo La Coruna in August for around £17million, limped off the pitch during the 2-0 win over Reading at the Emirates on Tuesday.
But the Gunners boss, who will welcome back Aaron Ramsey for the trip to Sunderland on Saturday, revealed at a press conference on Friday morning that he will be without the 28-year-old for two months.
“It’s very frustrating,” Wenger said. “He worked very hard to get there, and he’s absolutely gutted.
“It’s an injury that came from nowhere. A stupid one – a deliberate kick. It was similar to Granit Xhaka [sent off for a foul on Swansea’s Modou Barrow this month] but no red card, though a red card would not have helped Perez.
“It was not needed, but I think it was more a frustrated reaction from the player. He had no chance to get the ball, but you have to deal with that. Sometimes you get away with it. Sometimes you get a bad injury.”
Wenger, who said he would be “cautious” with Ramsey after his hamstring injury which kept him out for 13 games, might be without Theo Walcott who is a doubt with a hamstring problem while Granit Xhaka is still suspended.