Belfast Telegraph

Ox setback for Gunners and England

England and Arsenal were dealt a major blow on Tuesday night when it emerged Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain expects to be out of action until November.

The midfielder said he hopes to be "back playing in three months" following his knee injury, but he is set to miss crucial games for club and country in the meantime.

The 20-year-old, who has become a regular member of Roy Hodgson's England squad, limped out of the Gunners' 3-1 home defeat by Aston Villa on the opening day of the new Barclays Premier League season, with reports suggesting he could be set for a lengthy spell of rehabilitation.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger attempted to allay fears of a serious injury when he spoke in Istanbul ahead of the Champions League play-off first leg against Fenerbahce, suggesting a six-week lay-off.

But the player, who did not travel to Turkey and was due to see a specialist this evening, later gave an update on his official Twitter feed suggesting it was likely to be longer before he would be back in contention.

"Gutted I'm injured so early in the season," Oxlade-Chamberlain wrote on Twitter, "But I'm going to be working hard to hopefully be back playing in 3 months. Thanks 4 all ur support."

Oxlade-Chamberlain, therefore, can expect to miss England's crunch Group H World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.

The midfielder also stands to miss the October dates against Montenegro and Poland as Hodgson's team bid to reach next summer's finals in Brazil, and important early games in Arsenal's campaign.

Earlier, Wenger had given an update on his player's fitness.

"He will be out for at least six weeks, he has a posterior cruciate problem, a ligament which is stretched," said the Arsenal manager.

"We don't think it will need surgery."

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