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Henrikh Mkhitaryan out for six weeks

That’s not the Christmas present we wanted.

Southampton FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

The last thing Arsenal needed in this crazy, fixture-packed few weeks is for yet another player to get hurt. Right now, Arsenal are missing Rob Holding, Danny Welbeck, Shkodran Mustafi, Hector Bellerin, and probably Nacho Monreal for Wednesday, although Nacho may be back for the weekend. Things aren’t great on the health front right now, at all.

So why not make it worse? News came today that Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who subbed off at half time against Spurs in the Carabao Cup last week, has a stress fracture in his foot that will sideline him for “around six weeks”. As far as Christmas gifts go, that’s right up there with a box of dirty socks or a gift certificate for a free tax audit.

I think the only positive here is that a stress fracture is generally an injury that has a relatively straightforward healing process - stay completely off it and keep it immobilized in a boot, and that six week estimate should be pretty right on. But that’s still February, by the time he’s back, and he’s been a pretty vital part of Unai Emery’s midfield thus far this season.

There has been no indication from the club that they will be active in the January transfer window, but as the injuries pile up, one would suspect that they would have to be - not necessarily to get one huge signing, but to stockpile a bit more depth in an attempt to ride out this latest wave of injuries.